The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Iranian Revolution

Introduction: The PFLP

Regarding the foundation of the PFLP, I have nothing of substance to add to Walid Kazziha's history, Walid Kazziha, Revolutionary Transformation in the Arab World (NYC, 1975) and I summarize it as follows:

The PFLP was born out of the Arab nationalist revolt against the old order, an order which had been discredited by the ignominious defeat suffered by the Arabs in 1948. It drew its inspiration largely from that current of Arab thought which was, loosely speaking, modernizing, i.e., it was attracted to science, secularism, championing the emerging middle classes against the old élite, etc.

It was in this milieu that George Habash, who'd been forced to flee the armies of Jewish settlers in the 1948 war, organized a circle of fellow-students at the American University of Beirut which, in 1958, went on to form the Arab Nationalist Movement. This movement had active branches in a number of Arab countries, including, at different times, some Gulf sheikhdoms, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, and a Palestinian command. It was distinguished from the other movements of the modernizing middle classes (the Communists, the Ba'th) by its single-minded devotion to pan-Arabism and the Palestinian cause. The former, in particular, attracted it to Nasserism, until it lost faith in that ideology over Nasser's failure in 1967. In the meantime, the movement suffered an ideological polarization, with a Marxist wing gathering strength in the early sixtees. Dr. Habash waged a bitter polemical battle against these leftist elements, only to succumb after he founded the PFLP in 1968.

The PFLP and the Shah

The Shah was an ally of Israel's and deeply suspicious of Arab nationalist intentions, a suspicion which was returned by the latter. Israel played an important role in constructing the Shah's secret police, SAVAK, Nasser was thought to have had a hand in the 1963 religious rioting against the Shah, the Shah intervened in Jordan in 1970 on the side of the monarchy and against the Palestinian fedais, and eagerly moved in to fill the gap left by the British withdrawal from the Gulf in 1971.

This latter brought Dr. Habash and the Shah into direct conflict. The former had ties to rebels in Dhofar dating back to 1959. In June 1965, a small band of these and allied rebels, badly divided politically and poorly backed materially, took to the hills in Oman. In 1970, having obtained a base with the victory of their comrades in South Yemen, they mounted a series of effective actions against the British military bases in the province. As a function of his role of surrogate for the British in the region, the Shah dispatched 3500 troops to the province in the fall of 1972.

In the mean time, in 1971, the Organization of Iranian People's Fedai Guerillas (OIPFG) had just announced its formation to the world through an attack on a police post in the forests of northern Iran. Weak and divided, it succumbed to government repression, to re-emerge a few years later. In June 1976, OIPFG representatives, along with the Organization of People's Mojahedin and the radicalized nationalist National Front, declared their solidarity with the rebels in Oman. Amir Parviz Pouyan: On the Necessity of Armed Struggle & The Refutation of the Theory of "Survival" (NYC, 1977), p. 20. It might be mentioned parenthetically that Mohammad Montazeri, the son of Ayatollah Montazeri, who would earn a reputation as a zealous supporter of liberation movements world-wide, was less than zealous about the Marxist insurgents in Oman. When, in 1976, the Islamic Associations were to send telegrams to the resistance in Dhofar, he sat them down and explained to them the Chinese, Russian, and Tudeh line and got them not to send it. See Mohammad Montazeri (1984, Najafabad), p. 106. The next year, though, he did come around to sending a telegram protesting the Shah's "interference in the fate of the people of the Gulf and his direct interference in the fate of the people of Dhofar and his killing of them." Ibid., p. 142.

In March 1976, Dr. Habash earned himself some notoriety in Iran when the monarchist press reported that his Front had issued a pamphlet, The Iranian Revolution, described as an argument "for terrorism in Iran and Oman." We have been unable to locate it. The Tehran Keyhan International editorialized, "The PFLP, one would imagine, would have enough on its hands trying to achieve the goal of an independent Palestine to which it declares itself dedicated heart and soul. But no. Habash's gun-toting followers apparently have enough leisure, despite their weighty responsibilities, to lend moral and material support for the propaganda activities, and perhaps also the acts of murder and destruction, of Iranian terrorist groups. One would imagine the PFLP would dedicate what money and arms they posess to the sacred Palestinian cause. But no, there are obviously guns and money to throw around," adding that, in any case, "the PFLP and Iranian terrorists hardly make strange bedfellows." Keyhan International, March 31, 1976.

This link came in handy. In 1976-77, the OIPFG and government forces were locked in a bloody, although very one-sided, combat. One Iranian, who considered the Fedais to have been a bunch of confused and disturbed kids, remembers it as a period of killings by government forces, dubious cases of people being "shot while trying to escape," a relentless parade of high-power weaponry before TV cameras as having been "captured" from guerillas, etc. The military and even political threat of the Fedais was grossly exaggerated, adding to their mystique, as part of the Shah's growing obsession with being the target of an elaborate international plot which was even supposed to include groups such as Amnesty International. The PFLP's high-profile support to the OIPFG was made to order for the monarchy's world-view.

The Iranian government's obsession with the PFLP and the OIPFG melted away as the more substantial threat of the mass movement of began to gather momentum in 1977. We will see, though, that this would not be the last time the PFLP would be used by conservative Iranian nationalists.

The PFLP from the anti-Shah Demonstrations to the Islamic Republic

In analyzing this phase of the revolution, we divide the articles into five categories: 1) General reportage of the events in Iran and the American response, 2) Articles on events in Iran quoted from the OIPFG, 3) Coverage of the impact these events had on the Arab world as a whole, 4) Statements by George Habash himself, and 5) material relating the events in Iran to Lebanon and Oman. We take them up in order, except for those of the last category, which we will discuss separately.

1) General Reportage

The PFLP, predictibly, hailed the mounting mass movement against the Shah. The first issue of its journal, Al-Hadaf, which we have, that of April 15, 1978, carries an article p. 66. on the new role the monarchy's Rastakhiz party in the repression. The movement, then in its second week, is reported in the style of Iranian leftist emigrés, as an unqualified mass movement, with no reference to any religious themes, and manifests distrust of the "liberals," seen as being wooed by the Shah through certain reforms while the real mass movement is facing the prospect of war with fascistic armed Rastakhiz militias.

The next issue we have is that of January 16, 1979. The Shah's grip on the throne is slipping fast. The article quotes an interview with Khomeini in Time magazine in which he calls for no negotiations, declaring that the only solution is that the Shah leave Iran.

In the mean time, the Shah has made two efforts to win over a faction of the National Front, described as "including monarchist liberals as well as liberals who oppose the Shah's regime and hope he will go." First, he tried to get Gholam Hosein Sadiqi, a minister in "the nationalist government of Dr. Mohammad Mosaddeq which was about to free Iran from the Shah's rule for good when the Americans intervened," later a professor of social science at Tehran University, and who had been imprisoned five times by the Shah, to form a civilian government. This did not work, as Khomeini insisted that there could be no agreement before the Shah left, and "the Front's leaders recognized fully who is now leading the Iranian mass movement and that their voice will be drowned out by the people if they reneg and take a stand other than Khomeini's," and so Front spokesman Karim Sanjabi rejected "the Sadiqi maneuver."

The second effort involved Shahpur Bakhtiar, "a well-known landlord and member of the National Front" and follower of Mohammad Mosaddeq. Bakhtiar's rather strong conditions on the Shah are reported, but his plan, too, is repudiated by the National Front, and he is expelled from it.

The Americans are anxious to save the institutions built up under the Shah, even though they have largely given up on saving the Shah himself. Thus, they are trying to save the army from disintegration and are concerned to bring events in Iran under control before they effect their other allies, such as Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Israel.

It is only when the article closes that the masses themselves appear. Thus, it notes that the disintegration of the army is continuing: when troops were facing a demonstration, one soldier made to join the demonstrators and was shot dead by one of his comrades. The crowd attacked the soldiers, but stopped when an officer told the crowd that the soldiers are with the people, and the former turned their weapons over to the latter in a highly emotional scene. It also reported that soldiers in a Tehran barracks fired on their officers, killing twelve.

It also reports an "unprecedented" strike wave sweeping the cities of Iran, including even foreign ministry and defense ministry employees. The oil workers won a major victory in their strike when their demands for the release of the arrested oil workers and worker supervision over the wells.

The issue of January 13 includes an article pp. 42-43. on the Bakhtiar government, much of which consists of gloating over its woes and those of its chief backer, the Carter administration, and the West's general feeling of powerlessness in the face of the relentless advance of the revolution. Its political content is that the Americans are doing whatever they can to preserve the institutions developed under the monarchy through Bakhtiar and the Regency Council set up to reign over Iran in the Shah's absence. The revolution rendered unviable the previous American policy of unconditional support to the Shah, and they therefore threw their full weight behind Bakhtiar, the Shah being politely but firmly escorted out, a scene the journalist finds very amusing. On the other hand, another policy option is represented by Zbigniev Brezinski, i.e., to stand by the Shah through thick and thin and not to be seen as having abandoned an ally. An example of this vaccilation is Carter's recalling the ships he had sent to the Gulf, apparently to intimidate Iran, for fear of provoking a violent wave of anti-Americanism.

As for Bakhtiar, he represents "the comprador bourgeoisie," and his sweeping, if not radical, reforms are shrugged off as a "flanking maneuver." Khomeini and "the religious political leadership" and the masses have condemned the Bakhtiar government.

The article closes with a uncharacteristicly dogmatic conclusion, that the masses lack the tool needed to conquer power, i.e., a vanguard party which would take the lead of this mass movement. Under these circumstances, the most likely variant was the formation of a coalition government which would exclude radical elements.

The issue of January 20 carries an article pp.32-33. celebrating the Shah's flight. It quotes Agence France Press likening the jubilation in the streets to Paris after the liberation, commenting that, indeed, Tehran was like a city liberated from occupation. Soldiers joined demonstrators in emotionally-charged scenes of fraternization.

But the article goes on to observe that the Shah's departure was only the first step. This is understood by the demonstrators, whose slogans call for continuing the struggle to the end. This need is particularly clear, since the Bakhtiar government has shed its liberal veneer. In repressing a demonstration in Ahwaz celebrating the Shah's departure, eleven were killed. The article remarks that this new government, which had promised such sweeping change, was so quickly involved in bloody repression. And if this fails, the author notes, the next option could be some form of military rule.

As for Khomeini, he is quoted as emphasizing that "the Shah's departure is but the first step towards the victory which will only be won by overthrowing every form of foreign domination." He called for the demonstrations to continue. His next move is unclear, Khomeini and his entourage only stating his determination to return and "announce an Islamic government," at which point the author remarks, "Obviously the fight is not finished and the opposition will not be duped by firey slogans." Along these lines, it should be said that the Iranian left merits scant mention, except to say that it insists that the struggle continue.

The issue of January 27 carries an update p. 44. on the crisis on the verge of Khomeini's return to Iran. Threats of a military coup, which were rife in those days, are dismissed as psychological warfare. In the meantime, Bakhtiar's attempt to be conciliatory and have an envoy of his failed, with the envoy, Jalal od-Din Tehrani, defecting to Khomeini's side. The only thing he can rely on at all is the support of the US and that of the army. After the Americans escorted the Shah into his long vacation, the Americans gave and continue giving their firm support to him and his project of getting rid of the Shah but preserving what is needed to protect America's strategic interests. Although some believe that the army would simply step in as in 1953, "such people have not compared precisely the situation... a quarter of a century ago and that of today. The endurance of the Iranian mass movement has not only been unflagging during this past year, but has increased ...." On the other hand, the author did not want to rule out the danger of a violent blow to the movement.

Meanwhile, the mass movement is growing. Air Force officers struck demanding the removal of American advisors and promising to resist a coup. This and other strikes are described as "supporting the people's uprising and Khomeini's leadership of it."

An accompanying article looks at the results the Shah's flight was going to have on the British economy, given the mass of military hardware Britain was shipping Iran.

The issue of February 3, 1979, carried an article pp. 33-35. reporting on Khomeini's triumphal return to Iran, published under a picture of exultant clerics with their raised hands clasping those of armed soldiers. The Bakhtiar government is on its last legs. Noticing the advance state of disintegration the army was in and the appearance of weapons in the hands of some demonstrators, observers are saying the words they had been so reluctant to pronounce so far, i.e., civil war.

Bakhtiar spent his tenure in office vaccilating on how to face Khomeini's challenge. Thus, first he closed the airports to him. Then he offered to go meet him in Paris and spread rumors that there were secret meetings afoot between his side and Khomeini's, in order to plant doubts in the people's minds. This last maneuver was foiled when Khomeini publicly announced that there would be no contacts with Bakhtiar until he resigned. Bakhtiar's last option, which he is now using, is the threat, me, or a military coup, or some such variant (Khomeini would be unsafe, etc.) As for Bakhtiar's reforms, they come under some critical scrutiny: He would not admit how many political prisoners had not yet been freed. His promises about breaking with Israel and South Africa are simply a response to the people's pressure. Similar skepticism is expressed about his war on corruption. And when he was running bloody martial law administrations, he only mocked the civilian legislative authorities.

The article closes by looking at the impact of the Palestinian struggle on the demonstrators. While the clergy was leading the demonstrations and "raised clear slogans condemning the Shah and Bakhtiar and denouncing capitalism and Zionism,... Palestine was present in that torrent of the Iranian masses; not only in denouncing Zionism as embodied in Israel, but also in carrying banners which raised the slogan of armed struggle. Someone also called for support to the PFLP. And on banners raised by the workers in the chief industries,... they promised they would send 'no more oil to our enemies any more.'"

The issue of February 10 discusses Khomeini's call for an Islamic Republic and Bakhtiar's options for a response.

Khomeini appointed Mehdi Bazargan to form a provisional government which would then prepare a referendum and elections to a constitutional committee and a parliament. This challenge represents "dual power," one government representing the will of the vast majority "represented by Imam Khomeini's movement," the other representing what is left of the monarchy, i.e., the government chosen by the Shah and supported by the Americans.

Bakhtiar's government rests on the army and on the threat that if he goes, it will be because the army has lost confidence in his ability to rule. Khomeini's strategy is to avoid a direct confrontation with the army, but to keep eroding it and letting it fall apart. It is Khomeini who is trying to avoid a civil war, while Bakhtiar is promising one in the form of a military coup if Khomeini dares try to organize his republic. The author, quoting Ebrahim Yazdi, "an aid to the Imam... who has been named Minister of Public Health under the new government," considers a coup unlikely or impossible, since the army is disintegrating. On the other hand, "there are reports of large quantities of weapons surfacing, particularly in the tribal regions which are ruled by the Shah's tribal friends, such as in Kurdistan, and attempts by the Shah to manipulate religious minorities." The article concludes that some kind of desperate action by the old regime will be staged.

The issue of February 17 hailed the revolution's victory with a large photograph of Khomeini's head hovering over a small characature of the Shah's, under the quotation, "We are on the threshhold of victory, remain vigilant!" An editorial p. 3. salutes the victory under the headline, "The Iranian Mass' Victory Defeats the Reactionary Class Alliance and Presents the Arab Progressive Forces with Heavy Responsibilities." The editorial begins with a comment on Iran and the revolution, commenting, "And so ends a phase in Iran's struggle to embark upon a new, long march to found a new future." What is ahead for the struggle will be more difficult that what is behind it. Its future course will have a great impact on the region. After this brief introduction, it launches into the main topic of the article, which we will continue below.

It also features two articles, the first pp.38-40. reporting on how the revolution was won, the second pp. p. 41. on the establishment of the new order.

The first article begins by observing that, although the revolutionaries won, all was not over and they faced many challenges for the power they had conquered. Not only must they solve the problems inherited from the old regime, but they must face the plots hatched against the revolution geared towards bringing Iran back into the American sphere of influence.

Taking up the narrative of three days leading up to the revolution's victory, the author focuses on the collapse of the royal guards, the Immortals. Their purpose is described as protecting the Shah's palace "from the likely threat of the shanty-town dwellers in the belts of poverty which ring the capital," refugees of the Shah's "infamous White Revolution." It was their massacre of pro-Khomeini Air Force officers and civilians in their barracks at Dushan Teppeh which led to Khomeini's final warning that he would call a jihad--by which the author evidently understands armed struggle--and a confrontation between the armed forces and the people in arms, which spread throughout Tehran.

The author continues that "although Imam Ayatollah Khomeini was afraid to call for a Holy War, Al-harb al-moqaddisi, again, evidently, armed struggle. it became unnecessary in the end to present such a call to his movement," for during the last three days, the masses were forced to take to arms to face what was left of the military. This involved "fedai raids" on arms depots. Things reached the point that observers stated that there was civil war in Iran. "Thousands of soldiers poured into the capital's streets and fired on demonstrators, who were challenging the curfew and answered bullet for bullet and they heeded Imam Khomeini's repeated statement on the need to challenge the illegitimate curfew." Women and children joined the fray, making molotov cocktails. Soldiers fled as lone revolutionaries set their barracks on fire, the revolutionaries making off with the weapons. Armed revolutionaries fought a battle with the Imperial Guards in front of their base, surrounded them, and captured the base. The Shah's Majlis dissolved itself. The Bakhtiar government surrendered, General 'Abbas Qarabaghi announced his cooperation with Bazargan's Islamic provisional government. The prisons were opened and the victory in the capital was followed by a quick succession of victories in the provinces.

Regarding Khomeini's strategy of confronting the army, the author does note that the disintegration of the Shah's army was one of the fastest in history. Parts of the army went with the new order. Some generals had to be executed, but some chose to abandon the Shah's sinking ship. A wave of mutinies swept the armed forces, starting with the Air Force. This rendered the army useless while "the leadership of Imam Khomeini's movement" decided their tactics with precision, stage by stage, and awaited the development of this phenomenon [the disintegration of the army] until the military foundations of the Shah's government came apart." This neutralized the danger of a military coup. This reached the point that some of the military leadership surrendered and called on their comrades to surrender. If a premature confrontation had been forced, the army might have staged a coup and the Shah could have tried for a come-back in the name of restoring national unity. In this context, General Huyser's mission to Iran and his return as the Provisional Government took over, "indicates that there had been some plan or plans which were aborted by the Iranian masses.

The article concludes by warning that the United States has other tricks up its sleeve.

The second article, which appears under a picture of leading figures of the revolution: Ebrahim Yazdi, Sadeq Qotbzadeh, and Ayatollah Khomeini and his son, Ahmad, is a survey of world news coverage of the Iranian revolution. It begins with the comment that just as imperialism and the reactionary regimes in the region are reluctant to recognize the new government, so too has the Western press reflected the hostility of their respective governments to the new order in Iran. All the Western capitals see the revolution as "a catastrophe." The rightist French press praises the Shah's accomplishments as a progressive who was leading his country out of the Third World. L'Aurore The British press is considered more restrained, seeing the revolution as a "challenge to the West;" however "the rightist Daily Telegraph" sees Khomeini as an "enemy of civilization" and his revolution as the first of "a series of calamities." The West German press concentrates on the role of the army, mourning the fact that it is in no shape to stage a coup. The American press expresses fear for the future of American interests in the region. Jim Hoagland of the Washington Post warns that the Americans have not come to grips with the impact the Islamic revolution will have on the region.

By way of contrast, the article closes with quotes from Pravda and Izvestia, sternly warning the Americans to keep their hands off the region.

Finally, the first article closes over a box with a mini-biography of Khomeini. "He began his struggle against the Pahlavi dynasty in 1941. In his speeches, he concentrated on three things: Freedom, independence, and opposition to foreign rule.

"He became head of the Shi'ite sect in 1962 and in the next year, the Shah ordered his arrest, afraid of his power." This "led to the explosion of massive popular demonstrations.... Thousands were killed and wounded because of army repression of the demonstrators." The Shah had him exiled to Najaf. "He left Iraq for France last year, just when the Iranian people's uprising against the Shah's regime were growing in power." It continues, "A reflection of his abstemiousness is his repeated emphasis that he will not accept any official post in the Islamic republican government which he has announced it is his intention to form in Iran in place of the imperial throne." He dashed all hopes that he would modify his hardline position and faced an insane campaign abroad accusing him of wanting to return Iran to the Middle Ages, hostile foreign reports portraying him as a "reactionary" enemy of the government who would turn his land from "modernity," the point of these reports being hostility towards the militant Iranian people's will, ignoring the Imam's political positions, i.e., his hostility to autocracy, to the exploitation of the people and Iran's wealth and its being plundered, and in his anti-imperialism, anti-Zionism, and anti-racism, and his support to the Palestinian people's struggle...." The biography concludes with his triumph against Bakhtiar and his declaration of opposition not just to the Camp David accords and Sadat, but the Saudis as well.

2) From the OIPFG Perspective

The Fedais' take on the revolution was quite different. They did not have any room in their analysis for the clergy as an independent, not to mention leading, force. This would not be the first time that the secular nationalists and the left has read the clergy out of history. The 1963 rebellion led by Khomeini against the Shah's White Revolution is often portrayed in its literature with scarcely a mention of much of its content, which it would in other circumstances find extremely reactionary and embarassingly religious. And so, the picture of the revolution presented by the OIPFG differs radically from that seen by most other observers.

The first article we have by the OIPFG appears in the issue of April 15, 1978. pp. 62-63. In its introductory summary of the article, Al-Hadaf writes that there have been violent demonstrations against the Shah in a number of cities and the "Organization of Iranian People's Fedais" In Arabic, fedai means, roughly, guerilla, and so the name is abreviated. This should not be confused with the dropping of the word "guerilla" for political reasons by the majority pro-Soviet faction of the Organization for political reasons. has called for the people to rally to their organization and reiterated its support for armed struggle as the only way forward.

The statement is a report on the events in Tabriz, in which the masses assembled to mourn those killed in Qom. The police tried to disperse the meeting, but the people refused, and they poured into the streets, infuriated. They felt strong enough to shout slogans for freedom and against the Shah, and attacked police stations, Rastakhiz Party headquarters, etc. The demonstrations spread, thus showing everyone the essential weakness of the regime.

The statement continues to denounce the regime's claims that the uprising was a violent riot of burning and looting, saying that the crowds only attacked centers of political repression. It then rather easily turns the tables on the Shah's charges against anyone who struggles, from workers to peasants, from the Fedais to revolutionary students of being foreign agents by saying that it was he who looted the country's oil wealth and bought billions of dollars of worthless weaponry and hiring foreign military advisors and generally opened the country up to foreign penetration.

It continues, denouncing the repression, declaring that the country has not been turned into "an island of stability," but that the army in the streets is not able to intimidate the people any longer. It concludes by calling on revolutionaries not to rely on slogans alone, but to recognize the need for armed struggle against the regime and "emphasized the role of the People's Fedais as the armed forces of the working people and reiterated its support to the struggling masses in their spreading and continuing their struggle and their strikes and unity."

A box in that article reports on some military actions by the OIPFG, attacks on police stations and Rastakhiz offices in Qom, Tehran, and Tabriz, to commemorate the launching of armed struggle in Iran in 1971.

Another such article appears in the issue of January 20, 1979. p. 34. It is a translation of a joint statement by striking workers in Tabriz. After describing their years of lacking "bread, housing, and freedom," the statement denouncing the "Shah's anti-worker and anti-people regime" which, rather than negotiate, has resorted to its usual policy, i.e., sending in the army. The demands are very political: an end to martial law, freedom for political prisoners, support to the demands of all workers, employees, teachers, and students throughout Iran, the firing of foreign advisors, ending certain treaties with other countries, dissolving the Shah's labor fronts and the formation of true unions," as well as some simple trade union issues regarding benefits, hours, health, wages, etc.

That issue also includes an translation of a manifesto p. 35. hailing these workers. It begins by commenting that a growing number of workers are joining the ranks of the demonstrators chanting "Death to the Shah" and demanding freedom, independence, and democracy. It recalls the deprivation the workers of Iran suffered under the Pahlavis, their exploitation by the capitalists, Iranian and foreign, and ridicules the Shah's slogans about equality--the workers conditions have deteriorated daily, the most elementary protests were met with violent repression, their leaders imprisoned, they had no right to elect representatives, etc. The workers, then, have risen up "against all forms of oppression and class difference, against poverty and ignorance, against all forms of imperialist exploitation."

It is in this context that the striking workers are hailed for their determination and unity. Their struggle will strengthen the ranks of those rebelling against the Shah.

The statement continues by introducing the Fedais as those who "in 1971 took up arms against the criminal Shah's dictatorial system and its imperialist supporters to liberate the working class and all the toilers of our country, and has [passage unreadable]."

The statement closes calling on the workers to join ranks and thus guarantee victory. In this sense, it is interesting in that it does not try to link the armed struggle with the real struggle of the masses. The original theory of the Fedais was that the armed struggle would expose the regime's weakness and thus inspire the masses to rise against it. This leaflet did not even suggest this, and in fact, the old Fedai theory would be quietly discarded with time.

3) In the Arena of Arab Politics

The first article we have in this category is from the issue of August 5, 1978. p. 30. Its subject is how the breach between Egypt and Saudi Arabia is being healed and it does not mention the ferment in Iran. Rather, its focus is geopolitical; in attempting to mend relations with the Arab world, Husni Mubarak is visiting Tehran to consult with the Shah. The article mentions that this was not the first time that Egypt has used Iran as an intermediary. In 1975, Iran had lubricated the way towards the Sinai II accords, seen as Sadat's first step on the road to a seperate peace with Israel, by offering Egypt various forms of aid. This had the side-benefit of enabling the Shah to intervene further in Arab politics. Tehran was now seen as playing a catalyst role in furthering this project by conciliating Jordan and the Saudis with Sadat.

The issue of January 20, 1979, carries an article on the Americans' dispatching the fleet to the Gulf. It is, for some reason, at pains to minimize any relationship between this and the events in Iran. This, although the Shah's Iran was so important to American strategy that, quoting a Kuwaiti daily quoting an American Congressional report, the US was would resolutely back Iran even in the event of a conflict with the Saudis, it would sell all sorts of materièle to the Shah, while not even declaring what it was willing to sell the Saudis. Although the article admitted that it was clear that the Shah would have to leave Iran well before the fleet set off. Indeed, the Shah's departure threw off all the Americans' calculations. Although both the events in Iran and the need to reassure the Saudis was important, the real reason the fleet set off was over events in Yemen. A Yemeni Socialist Party was announced in South Yemen and armed struggle was launched in North Yemen by the Democratic National Front there. In any case, the author's analysis is probably not wrong in this regard; the outbreak of fighting in North Yemen did provoke a considerable crisis.

The issue of February 3, 1979, carried an article on the Gulf after the Shah's departure. The Shah was the chief pillar upon which imperialist policy in the region rested, particularly since the British withdrew from the Gulf in 1971 and especially with the rise of the Nixon doctrine. The Shah was permanently at war with both Iranian and Arab revolutionary forces.

Three forces will go into action over the Shah's leaving Iran. One is imperialism, which will mobilize its highly experienced intelligence apparatus, its fleet in the Indian Ocean, and its influence in the Iranian army to confront the crisis.

The second is that of the Gulf Arab reactionary regimes, particularly those with a "not inconsiderable Shi'ite population, such as Bahrein and Saudi Arabia" which are afraid of the revolutionary contagion infecting their people. "Many statements have been issued from the officials of these two countries, all supporting the Shah and imploring the imperialist countries to save them and stand by them." What this will mean is a growth of their repressive apparatuses, which will, incidently, help recycle petrodollars. The Saudis stand to gain in particular, having been overshadowed by the Shah's Iran.

The third force is that of "the patriotic and democratic forces" in the Gulf region. The most important thing is for them to collaborate. An example of this is the collaboration between the Democratic National Front of North Yemen and the June 13th Movement. This alliance of the Front with the Nasserists will not only increase its popularity, but its political weight and military capabilities. The fall of the Shah will deepen and broaden the struggles being waged in the Gulf. This increases the responsibility of the revolutionary movements in that region.

Finally, there are two articles specifically taking up the Israeli response to the revolution. The first appears in the issue of January 13, 1979. p. 46. When the Israeli government complained about how the revolution was upsetting the negotiations with Sadat, this was only one small aspect of their problems. The article goes on the remark that, despite Israeli diplomats' attempts to keep a low profile, despite the absence of full diplomatic relations, Israel was a target of the opposition to the Shah. The Shah gave Israel 60% of its oil and Iran's imports from Israel topped $100 million. Now that the Shah has left, the Israelis are trying hard to hang on, reasoning that if they leave, it will be harder to come back.

Another article appeared in the issue of January 20. p. 24. It reported on Israeli radio's Persian-language program, "Just Five Minutes." After poking fun at it, it says that it is part of the Israeli intelligence network and very hostile to the Arab cause as well as that of Iranian progressives. One of its missions is to cultivate new agents. In any case, the article concludes, it will need to renew not only its agents, but its strategy, since the Israeli diplomatic corps and commercial contacts are certain to be ejected from Iran now that the Shah is gone.

After the revolution's victory, Al-Hadaf editorialized in the issue of February 17, 1979, p. 3. that the Iranian revolution destroyed a regime which "was a tool for the suppression of many liberation movements, the most important being the Arab people's revolution in Oman."

It also "dealt a lethal blow to local corporations which were collected in the grip of the Zionist movement allied with international capitalist corporations, and the Zionist movement thus lost an important position which it used to rob the Iranian masses' wealth and serve the Zionist entity in occupied Palestine.

"Similarly, the Iranian revolution dealt a blow... to the imperialist-Zionist-reactionary alliance in the Middle East...." It "drove the Zionist entity to hysterics." Israel lost its chief supplier of oil, an important intelligence outpost, and a recruiting ground for military cadres. It also imposed a moral defeat on Israel, its embassy being converted to the Palestinian embassy.

As for the Saudis, not only did they lose an ally, but they now have to fear facing a similar fate, for, after all, if the mighty Shah could suffer such an ignominious defeat,....

The Americans are trying to repair the breach in the Gulf caused by the Iranian revolution by rushing arms to the region, particularly to the Saudis. Iran is also expected to be an important topic in the upcoming talks between Sadat, the Israelis, and Carter.

As for the region's revolutionary forces, they "should involve new forces and use them in developing alliances" against the reactionary alliance and anticipate a rise in the struggle of the Arab people of the region against the reactionary alliance.

The issue of February 17 carries an article p. 42-43. under the headline, "The Iranian Revolution and the Fear in the Gulf." It begins with a quote from the head of the UAE's National Council: "The waves are rising around us and we must act so that we do not drown. We cannot be like an ostrich and hide our heads in the sand." The Saudi Minister of the Interior said that "his 'hope' was that the Gulf states would follow Iraq and Saudi Arabia in signing a pact as they had," adding, "The fear over the events in Iran and their spread to the Arab Gulf region has so greatly frightened the region's rulers that they do not know what to do." In this context, the comment about Saudi-Iraqi ties setting the pace for the other Gulf states is seen more as a sign of the Gulf sheikhdoms' disorientation than a comment on Iraq, although it certainly sounds a jarring note, given Al-Hadaf's silence on the issue in that period.

The author continues that Iran has great weight in the region not only due to its size, but also due to the presence of substantial Shi'ites and Iranians working in eastern Saudi Arabia, Bahrein, Kuwait, etc. These peoples there have grievances over a lack of democracy, the domination of foreigners, the prevalence of foreign advisors, etc. "And herein lies the importance of the impact of the events in Iran, a country which is trying, however partially, to bring down this domination and to free the Iranian economy from following the Americans and capitalism." It will result in "a strengthening of national sentiment and hostility to any foreign influence, economic or military. Most important, the revolution gave the region decisive proof that it is possible to overthrow autocratic regimes and expunge the presence of foreigners." The author anticipates that, just as events moved so quickly in Iran, they will similarly move quickly on the other side of the Gulf, "which has witnessed and will keep witnessing widespread movements." Among the Gulf states' counter-measures are:

The Kuwaiti Crown Prince visited the Gulf states and discussed a form of Gulf economic and security measures aimed against any mass movement which might arise in the future, by which the author presumes he means those having spread from Iran.

The Omani Foreign Minister visited Riyadh to discuss "the situation in Oman now that the Iranian forces have been withdrawn and the role which the Saudis might play in helping Oman."

The "hasty meeting" between Bahrain’s Defense Minister and the Kuwaiti and Saudi Foreign Ministers which occurred on the very day Bakhtiar was overthrown.

Talks between Muscat and North Yemen over the outbreak of fighting in North Yemen.

"The Saudi-Iraqi Security Accord, which was agreed upon while the Shah's regime was falling, in which it was agreed that there was no border problem between them."

One curious point about this article is that it seems to sympathize with the dynamic of the Gulf states aligning themselves in some formation independent of other powers, particularly Saudi Arabia, which is seen as "the Shah's sole heir." Thus, "Iran under the Shah played the role of opposing any Arab Gulf convergence out of Iran's reach. Now that the Shah has gone, this convergence or Gulf solidarity has become possible.... This solidarity is apparent in public meetings of leaders and ministers and consultations taking place between these governments and coordinations on foreign policy." The article goes so far in its sympathy for the Gulf Arab states as to rebuke Iran for "de-Arabizing" the Gulf by calling it the "Islamic" Gulf rather than the Persian Gulf. "The insistence of the Arab Gulf governments on the Gulf's Arab character is a non-negotiable issue...." The author believes that "in light of the Iran experience, these governments will set their houses in order as well as their relations with the people of the region... because they do not want to see a repeat of what happened in Iran."

The author also sees Muscat and North Yemen as "more threatened than any other country with a repetion of what happened in Iran; these countries cannot survive without foreign military and material support. And so the Gulf governments will support them since it would be very dangerous to their own survival if they were to fall into the hands of nationalist forces." This presents an interesting insight into what Al-Hadaf's journalist had in mind when he saw the Iranian revolution as furthering the cause of the Gulf Arabs. On the other hand, the author appreciates the role played by the clergy, and expects the Gulf sheikhdoms to crack down on them, particularly the Shi'ites. He considers the religious movements to be in their infant stage.

In sum, the author believes that "the degree of repression which distinguishes the Gulf states has changed, though this does not mean that the repression has ended, never to return.... It was in struggle that some democratic freedoms were given, such as the restoration of the Kuwaiti and Bahraini national assemblies, the formation of a consultative assembly in Saudi Arabia, the release of some prisoners in North Yemen, as well as other reforms designed to minimize foreign interference."

Regarding the Iranian role, the author argues, "Iran's impact has born fruit in the Arab Gulf and Peninsula, but it is not the final fruit which will be born there. Rather, it is the first link towards the final link which the region's masses will forge as they press the struggle ever forward."

After the Shah was overthrown, an article appeared in the issue of February 24 pp. 38-39. on Gulf security after the Iranian revolution. This article was more intent on integrating the revolution into the over-all Gulf picture. This time, the article quotes an American Department of Defense official who says that the American presence in the Gulf is designed to signal the Soviets to stay out of Iran and to reassure America's allies. Although there are still attempts to dissolve the revolution in Iran into the struggle between the Soviets and the Americans, the Iranian revolution is recognized as a threat to the Americans in its own right. In a negative sense, it removed the Shah, who had ambitions to "Persianize the Gulf" which offended the sheikhdoms; for example, it took the three islands from Bahrein and sent its army into Oman. Iran's version of "Gulf stability" meant its domination of the region, and the Gulf's Arabs were just as glad to see the last of it. On the other hand, "they are troubled over the developments in Iran and their impact on themselves," and are concerned about how best to prevent the same thing happening in their countries.

There is also the tendency to perhaps stress the national character of the Gulf sheikhdoms. This is apparent in the above-mentioned reference to the tensions with Iran. In addition, the article emphasizes that the Gulf states see no threat from the Soviets and "some Gulf states have called for keeping the Arab Gulf out of international conflicts." In a more negative sense, the article goes on to state that the Gulf states find America to be unreliable, since it was unable to keep the Shah in power.

On the other hand, the Gulf sheikhdoms are expected be partners in a new pro-American alliance in the region centered around Saudi Arabia. That the Americans are preparing "an unofficial alliance led by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and supported by the United States" is shown by the reception gotten by American Defence Minister Harold Brown to Saudia Arabia, were he met with the Bahraini defense minister, the Kuwaiti foreign minister, and the Omani foreign minister. Similarly, when Saudi Crown Prince Fahd visited America, Brown conveyed a request to him for air and naval bases. Within this context, the sheikhdoms which will play the clearest role in this new alignment are to be Bahrain, Oman, and Qatar. As for Iraq, "It sees the need for Gulf security and the protection of its Arab character and rejects any foreign participation. The leadership must be nationalist. Kuwait shares this view for the time being. It has made clear this orientation since it declared that the Gulf should steer clear of international rivalry and that it can support itself.

"No doubt, this perspective is the soundest of the two and one must prefer it over the first. All the Gulf's nationalist forces agree on the program which supports the true independence of the region and keeping it away from foreign influences and resisting all pressures aimed at linking the Gulf to any imperialist alliance which does not serve the region's national and patriotic interests." But anxiety remains in the Gulf that now the Saudis will become the new bullies on the block.

Finally, this pair of articles include two boxes. One reports that just before news of the (short-lived) seizure of the American embassy by "Iranian revolutionaries" was broadcast over Iranian radio, the Palestinian national anthem was broadcast, and that "this emphasized the friendly relationship between the masses of the Iranian people and the masses of the Palestinian people."

The second reports the seizure of the Israeli embassy by "Iranian militants," the burning of its records and sophisticated equipment, and the embassy staff being chased out. They then put pictures of Khomeini on the outer walls, raised the Palestinian flag, and wrote in big letters, "A piece of liberated Palestine," declaring it the Palestinian people's embassy in Iran. "A spokesman told Yasir Arafat that the revolution which won in Iran was a revolution for the Palestinians and for all Arabs who fight for the freedom of their countries... and all the down-trodden and oppressed, and added, 'The Iranian revolution will spare no efforts for the sake of freeing Palestine from criminal Zionism and from imperialism, just as there is freedom in Iran.'"

The third reports that the Tudeh Party calls for freedom of organization for all political forces, regardless of their ideological orientation.

4) Dr. Habash's Views

In this period, we have only one direct expression of Dr. Habash's views, those expressed at a press conference held at the 14th Palestine National Council, at which media from East and West Europe, some of the major Arab media, and others were present.

At this news conference, some reporters asked what impact the events in Iran, which had been so disturbing for so many of the Arab regimes in the region, would have on the Palestinian cause. He replied, "What is important for us regarding this event is the content of this movement, and this is obvious. It is against imperialism and reaction and Zionism and Israel, and so we feel that the events in Iran mean the removal of a reactionary regime allied with Sadat and Zionism and its replacement with a government which is an ally of the Palestinian revolution and cooperates with us in our struggle against imperialism and Zionism.

"And not only that. The value of the events in Iran are in their presenting a clear example of the future in store for the reactionary oil regimes in the region which believe, in some cases, that they will remain and rule forever over their realms because of their wealth and weapons. Indeed, the value of the events in Iran are in their presenting an example to the people in the region of will and determination, and the events in Iran will be the start of a whole chain of events which will leave their imprint across the region and on the Palestinian cause."

In response to the question of whether or not the movement had a chauvinist or confessionalist character, Dr. Habash replied, "What is important for us is that the movement is against imperialism and reaction and Zionism, and so, with this content, it is a progressive movement. As for the ideological aspect, we are fighting in the context of Palestine and the Arab region and the Middle East for trusting cooperation between all anti-imperialist and anti-Zionist progressive currents, regardless of any ideological differences existing between them.

"Thus, there are numerous progressive currents in the Arab homeland. The Communist Parties, the progressive Marxist forces, the Ba'th Party, and the Nasserists.

"The danger is that perhaps these ideological differences might dominate what these forces have in common; despite ideological manifestos, their common fight is with imperialism, reaction, and Zionism.

"In the Fifties, imperialism played upon this. So we must try to abort imperialist efforts on this level."

This begs the question of whether or not the Khomeini current represents a progressive current which could form an alliance with leftist or nationalist movements, or a confessionalist movement intrinsically hostile to leftism or Arab nationalism, despite its hostility to imperialism. The reference to the Fifties is telling, though. The Communist Parties were suspicious of the anti-Zionist movement, not the least because of much of its reactionary and confessionalist leadership. In that case, of course, it was not imperialism which was splitting the movement, but some of the PFLP's current allies....

The issue of February 17, 1979, carried a declaration p. 7 by official PFLP spokesman Bassam Abu Sharif greeting the revolution's victory under the headline, "The Victory of the Iranian People's Revolution Is a Victory for the Palestinian Arab People and the Arab Masses." It reads:

"Our people and its revolution have stood side-by-side with the Iranian people and its revolutionaries for many years in the firm belief in the justice of the Iranian masses' struggle as well as because the Shah and his system are agents of the imperialists and Zionism and work to loot the Iranian masses' wealth and cooperated with the Zionist enemy in its crushing the Palestinian people and looting their land.

"The joint struggle of these two people against imperialism and Zionism will be crowned with a victory in Palestine, and we believe that the victory of the revolution in Iran is a victory for us, our Palestinian people and our Arab masses.

"American imperialism, which has plundered the Iranian masses' wealth for decades, still plunders the Arab masses' wealth through the region's client regimes, and supports the Zionist enemy, which is allied with Arab reaction, and supports the grabbing of Palestinian land and the occupation of Arab land.

"We believe that imperialism, Zionism, and Arab reaction are a camp of enemies allied to dominate the Arab world and its wealth, and keep Zionism on the land of Palestine, and so the struggle, in all its forms, against this camp is the way to victory."

Al-Hadaf then added that "Abu Sharif called on the Arab masses to rise up to win and so complete the Iranian masses' victory" and concluded by saluting "the Iranian masses and Imam Khomeini" for their victory and called for "the establishment of the firmest kind of alliance between the Iranian and Palestinian revolutions for the sake of liberating Palestine and completely eliminating the enemies and agents from the region, particularly Sadat and the agent who greeted the Shah," presumably, King Husein of Jordan.

From the Revolution's Victory to the Embassy Occupation

This marked a period of sobriety between two periods of political exhilaration, in which the revolution's "chauvinist and confessionalist" side very quickly manifested itself. We survey the articles in two parts: 1) News coverage on Iran and 2) What Dr. Habash himself said. On the whole, the articles in the first category show a clear sympathy for the opposition, while the latter's comments are much more restrained in this regard.

The first article to be published after the jubilation faded was in the issue of February 24. The country had been left with a legacy of dependency, poverty, agriculture and industry in crisis, unemployment, administrative corruption, a criminal military command, SAVAK agents to conspire against them, etc.

Iran's economy leaned heavily on its oil exports. But this commodity will be exhausted by the end of the century; in any case, it provides relatively few jobs (directly). Moreover, much of the income was frittered away on useless prestige projects or weapons.

The other sectors of the economy were completely controlled by foreign companies; even when there was local producers, they could not compete with foreign firms. Foreigners completely dominated banking, and after the revolution, it had to be nationalized.

The author also urged that the property of the large bourgeoisie be expropriated, just as they dynasty's property has, and the wealth used to develop the country.

As for agriculture, the "Shah-people revolution," under it, agriculture was neglected, the desertification of Iranian land proceeded apace, farmers flocked to the cities, and imports soared, furthering domination by the multinational food cartels.

Industrial production suffered from the ambient repression and bad working conditions as well as the widespread illiteracy of the workers. The author cites an expert as saying that it would take 15 to 20 years for Iran to develop a workforce educated enough to tackle modern production. Thus, the new government should launch a campaign against illiteracy and give the workers democratic liberties and bearable working conditions. It should create work for the unemployed by furthering the country's industrialization.

As for the army set up under the Shah, it presents a potentially counter-revolutionary force. Moreover, it is extremely wasteful. The author goes on to list some of the lucrative contracts the army has arranged with American corporations.

"The last but most dangerous of these dangers is demographic growth, the Third World's weak spot and source of trouble. The population of Iran has incresed from 19 million (1959) to 34,883 million (1976).... Such a rapid average rate of population growth will lead to a terrible wave of people in the years to come.... If this wave does not stop growing, since the government did not head the warning of this danger and take quick measures to head off this danger, it will absorb all resources for growth."

The author recommends a program of recovery based on medium industry and an abandonment of prestige projects; a concentration on agriculture to restore national independence, which would include a revival of neglected traditional farming and irrigation techniques, an emphasis on meat pruduction, encouragement of traditional cooperative work teams (the boneh and nasaq), a nationalization of agricultural credit unions, etc.

All foreign and large national companies and foreign trade should be nationalized.

Traditional bazar production should be revived and its portion of the national economy should be increased.

Finally, the economy should be socialist. In the mean time, "the world progressive forces must protect the social victory of this revolution, now that it has won its great political victory."

Finally, the last page of that issue contains a few pieces of advice about how the revolution should defend itself. On the one hand, the revolution's enemies are waiting for the right time to strike. On the other hand, "the popular masses... are the best qualified to to defend this victory, and they are the most able... to defend it." The old officer corps has not been dissolved. Indeed, "the "new" Chief of Staff General Qarani" declared that the Bazargan government called for the return of hundreds of old American advisors to Iran., despite Khomeini's promises that not one of them should remain in Iran. Moreover, there are 50 thousand old SAVAK agents in Iran and 3 million informers. In addition, the new "nationalist government" is trying to restore the old system of discipline in the barracks. Even some members of the old Imperial Guards are being restored to their posts. In response, astonished protesters from among the people demand a thorough purge of the military. "It was these masses who used whatever was at hand to wipe out the pockets of imperial resistance in the palace and in the barracks, despite there not having been a call for a holy jihad by their leaders.... It was these masses and these weapons in their hands which are a guarantee against any counter-attack aimed at aborting their victory, for imperialism is still preparing and scheming, indeed, it is acting, to make good its loss of Iran, and the reactionary imperial forces gathered around it are still plotting and acting, as the Iranian leadership admits. So let the weapons remain in the hands of the Iranian masses.... This is the sole guarantee of the defense of their revolution...."

The issue of March 3, 1979, reflects a more sharply critical stance towards the revolution. From this and subsequent articles, it appears that a journalist for Al-Hadaf has visited Iran and is palpably shaken by the rise of the religious forces. It begins:

"Iran today is witnessing a sort of battle... between the leadership of Imam Khomeini, the nationalist leader whose leadership is undisputed, and the political forces which cooperated with him and have, to some extent, a mass base. What distinguishes this battle, which sometimes amounts to an implicit challenge to the new leadership's perspectives, between this leadership and these forces [passage unreadable].

"The "religious" movement which Imam Khomeini led succeeded with the strategy of uniting the Iranian people's forces in the struggle against the dictatorial Shah's regime, and the Iranian people achieved, under this leadership, a great victory." But now that the "political victory" has been won, the leadership has come face to face with building a new society and faces all sorts of social and political challenges. Although there is unanimity in accepting some of the government's perspectives (supporting the Palestinian people's struggle, the trials of the generals and the swift justice meted out to them, the seizure of the old dynasty's property, etc.), there is opposition to others."

Each of three elements have differences with each other on how to proceed: "Imam Khomeini's leadership and the Islamic Revolutionary Council composed of six advisors, considered the Imam's political arm and which vets the political decisions in accordance with the shari'at and sends them to the government which then includes them in an administrable plan;" Bazargan's Provisional Government; and "the OIPFG and its sympathizers, the leftist current among the soldiers and officers of the air force, the oil workers which are particularly influenced by the leftist current, the Organization of Iranian People's Mojahedin which is close to the Shi'ite religious leadership, the Communist Tudeh Party, the National Front, and the rest of the Marxist organizations."

The author continues, "Despite what government officials say, that these decisions are made unanimously between these three

[passage lost from disk]

levels of the new Iranian leadership, it has been indicated more than once, first implicitly, then publicly, that Bazargan has complained of many orders being decided upon and executed without being refered to the government, sometimes without his being told beforehand." Bazargan particularly wishes for the dissolution of the Imam's committees, an organization composed of several thousand youths which [organizes] the arresting of former ministers and SAVAK agents."

The article then goes on to describe at somewhat greater length the regime's leftist and secular opponents. "The Iranian left has stated once more that they are anxious that the sharp confrontation with the new Iranian leadership not reach the point of fighting, and so they cancelled a demonstration which a number of Western observers estimated would have led to a confrontation between 'the Marxists and the mosque'... when Khomeini issued his most violent declaration ever, against the left,... accusing the left of being 'un-Islamic' and 'at war with Islam' and calling on his followers to ignore what he described as 'misleading' slogans of liberty and fraternity and declaring that he would not give them permission to these opportunists to 'enter his house,' as he put it.

"And so the OIPFG changed its demonstration to a rally in Tehran University in which some 100,000 participated, and which continued for over two hours, at which they stated what they had wanted to submit to Imam Khomeini in person. At this rally, the OIPFG called for speeding up the revolution" and issued a declaration which called for, among other things, a "return of land to the farmers" as well as free irrigation and interest-free loans, the formation of people's committees to manage industry and local affairs, a people's army which would be made of "zealous revolutionaries" with an elected command, "respect for minority culture and rights," "equality for women," in addition to demands for nationalization of banking, insurance, etc.

The author continued, "The OIPFG declared its support to Imam Khomeini as the leader who enjoys the people's praise and respect, and as an anti-imperialist figure. At the same time, the organization previously had refused to comply with Imam Khomeini's call for the collection of weapons, and this was the first time that the militant organization found itself forced to publicly criticize the new Iranian leadership's policies from its position as a revolutionary organization which fought side by side with the Iranian popular masses under Khomeini's leadership to win the great victory."

The author conducted an interview with Dr. Ali Shayegan, a founding leader of the National Front. This front is introduced with the remark that "they [the Fedais] are not the only organization which criticizes this [i.e., Mehdi Bazargan's] government. Opposition parties gathered in the National Front have called on the Bazargan government to open its doors to the representatives of all groups which struggled to overthrow the Shah's regime, including radical writers and the OIPFG, and they criticize, in their letters to the government, Bazargan's repeated calls for patience." Shayegan himself is introduced as a founder and leader of the Front and its presidential candidate. He calls for a "neutral foreign policy, preserving [Iran's] independence and excluding foreign influence" and "freedom of political activity and expression of opinion for all political parties and organizations, even the para-military ones, except for those which are known to serve foreigners, particularly those which are known to serve the United States or the former regime's interests. Shayegan denounced all attempts to divide the current forces into ruling forces and ruled, for these attempts would be interpreted as a conspiracy against freedom and democracy and must be mercilessly crushed. He announced his opposition to "the reactionary Shi'ite petty clerics" and emphasized that "Ayatollah Khomeini is pious and cunning enough to avoid being trapped by extremists." Shayegan protested the vetting of the law in accordance with the Islamic shari'at and, on the other hand, called on all the left forces to accept Khomeini's leadership, saying, "These forces are definitely patriotic forces, but they are pursuing a different path from Khomeini's. Their cooperation will guarantee the success of the revolution and democracy and freedom." And so the interview ends.

The author concludes this portion of the article commenting that, despite Bazargan's statement on France's Channel 2, promising that the contributions of the Fedais and the Tudeh party members would not be forgotten, Bazargan told Newsweek in an interview that the Tudeh Party is illegal under the current law, and that he will follow this law.

The article concludes by attacking the institution of the army. It includes Al-Hadaf's customary attack on Chief of Staff General Qarani--"violently anti-communist"--as a suspicious character. "Although he was arrested in 1959 on charges of conspiring against the Shah, it is said in some quarters that he was working with the CIA, since he was imprisoned for only three years, despite the nature of the charges against him which ought to have led to execution or life imprisonment." It quotes Dr. Shayegan as saying "that it was necessary to demobilize the old army and replace it with a democratic national guard. Is sole duty must be to protect the nation. He declared that it was necessary to found new popular army which would be in the service of the people and not a tool in the hands of a dictator. And this position jibes with that of the People's Fedais and other Marxist organizations in the country." It also notes that the People's Mojaheds--"followers of Khomeini"--take the same stand.

The article concludes, "The dialogue [which] began quietly and calmly between the new Iranian leadership and the radical political forces... has become a bitter argument. As one of the president's aides said, it will become clear in the next few weeks who will lead what in this country."

The coverage in the issue of March 10 is limited to a statement by "the Assistant General Secretary to the Kurdistan Democratic Party--Iran, Comrade Karim Hasami" p. 43. on the recent disturbances in Iranian Kurdistan and the government's dispatching a delegation to look into them. The statement begins by denying charges of KDP ties with monarchist elements being broadcast over Iranian radio, citing the party's republican and anti-imperialist program and its hailing of "the people's revolution led by Ayatollah Khomeini." "In the present context, the exchange of messages and telegrams between Ayatollah Shari'atmadari and Mullah Sheikh Ezzod-Din [Hoseini] of Mahabad and between the clergy of Kurdistan and that of Tehran shows the support for firm ties between the people of Kurdistan and the leadership of the uprising, and it will be impossible for Western propaganda to spread dissention between the peoples of Iran. Our party has declared more than once that it is necessary to recognize the democratic nationalist government which officially recognizes the rights of all the Iranian peoples, and we are certain that the revolutionary government lead by Ayatollah Khomeini will take this position.... Our party declares once again its solidarity with all the progressive measures taken by the revolution under Ayatollah Khomeini's leadership and denounces all the destructive efforts made by reactionary imperialism... as well as its repudiation and condemnation of all actions which aim to offend the revolutionary leadership and Khomeini. It considers any effort from any quarter in any place aimed against the present government to be essentially aimed against all nationalist and democratic forces and against the interests of the people and the nation."

The issue of March 17 contains an article pp. 40-41. which appears under two pictures: one, of a demonstrating Iranian women holding up a banner reading, "Women's liberation, society's liberation," and another, under it, of an anguished-looking Bazargan. It begins with the quote, "It was not for this that the Iranian masses suffered so and sacrificed so many martyrs," commenting, "With such a reaction, an Iranian militant began to relate his views on the current situation in Iran. Indeed, he is but a drop in the ocean of the Iranian masses, but his cry is becoming the cry of tens of thousands of Iranians, especially that of just about all the political forces which played a leading militant role in confronting the imperial army during its last stages, after which they participated in the prolonged mass struggle to overthrow the throne of the fugitive dictator, and this cry says a lot, but particularly the most important thing is that the revolution of the mass of Iranian people is still continuing, despite the definite acceptance that Imam Khomeini is still the leader. But there is an important difference. When the Imam chose Dr. Mehdi Bazargan to govern, it was "act first, discuss later" from then on." The revolutionary coalition which overthrew the Shah was coming apart. It had not only overthrown the Shah, but shaken up the central government as well, in class, ideological, and ethnic terms. The revolution itself is not institutionalized:

"For the Khomeini leadership, there is one leadership which rules, and that is that leadership; for the government headed by Bazargan, there are two governments in Iran: his government and the Islamic Revolutionary Council's government which follows Imam Khomeini.

"President Bazargan has become fed up during the long period of his government's powerlessness to act as a government due to the existence of another government in the shadows, but he tries to rule. This other government which Bazargan complains of is the Komiteh The author means the Revolutionary Council.--a group of Imam Khomeini's officials, which includes ten members, religious leaders and other Iranians with fanatical Islamic beliefs.

"When Imam Khomeini returned from Paris, this Komiteh was was set up on the premise that it was a temporary organ which would help in guiding the revolution for a brief time and then gradually transfer its powers to the Bazargan government, but instead, this group's power grew so much that it began to act like the true government. It issues orders. It carries out trials of and passes sentence on former officials of the times of the old dictatorship.It investigates and then 'purges' the Revolutionary Committees, or action councils, which have begun to emerge in almost all offices, from the trade bureaus to the Iranian Air Force.

"As soon as the Imam left Tehran for the holy city of Qom, Bazargan launched a bitter attack on the Komiteh, saying it was a parallel government to his government, that it was interfering in his administration, that it was sullying the revolution, that it oppressed, that it arrested and passed judgment, that it resisted government decisions, etc.," and threatened to resign. "Bazargan also was anxious to devote part of his attack on the left forces, which "were interfering" and "were making trouble" and "were making it impossible for his government to function.

"The Imam answered this attack with furious criticisms during an address before a group of religious leaders. He said that the ministers... were not Muslims. You [the government] live in ministerial palaces while the people live in hovels.... He then directed his remarks to the President and said: "This step-by-step progress is no good.... One must be more revolutionary." But then, to lessen the infighting between the Komiteh and the government, the Imam himself became the arbiter between the two groups. Moreover, he addressed the popular masses and called on them to support the Provisional Government, squelching rumors about Bazargan's impending resignation. He said that such rumors were being spread by 'enemies of Iran'."

But all this "does not negate the fact that Imam Khomeini usually ignores the Tehran government," preferring to deal directly with his network of religious leaders to rule the country.

In the mean time, "there is another struggle between the two powers and the democratic secular and leftist forces which consider themselves to be an active force which participated in the stage of the struggle to overthrow the Shah only to find itself turned away in the post-Shah stage. These forces, particularly the People's Mojahedin and the People's Fedain, reject the conservative Bazargan government and consider it a rightist force which has built up a wall around Imam Khomeini and have opposed this ruling power in recent weeks in three ways:

  1. A commemoration of the twelth anniversary of the death of the nationalist militant Dr. Mohammad Mosaddeq in the village of Ahmadabad. This commemoration attracted some one million people, among them, a great crowd of leftist students, in addition to leading cadres of the People's Mojahedin and the People's Fedain organizations. The commemoration was a show of force for the various forces in the country which "were anxious to have a voice" in determining Iran's future, as one Iranian newspaper put it, and to protest the establishment of the Islamic Republic as envisioned by Imam Khomeini, and the speakers at the rally concentrated on the need for unity.
  2. The announcement of the establishment of the National Democratic Front which called on "all groups and individuals who believe in democratic struggle against imperialism" to join this Front, which relies "only on forces not hostile to the Iranian people." And the committee which will organize this Front issued a statement which criticized a number of policies, including the way reporting was done on radio and television, the secret Islamic tribunals, and the referendum over the Islamic republic.

    It is worth mentioning that the committee was formed to organize the NDF in response to the presence of nearly a million people at the rally at which Mosaddeq was hailed as a national hero. This Front's program, which is still in the process of being drawn up, aims for the achievement of "the fundamental demands of all Iranian progressives." This Organizing Committee warned in its declaration, of "monopolization and fanaticism in ideology and faith" which might destroy the revolution. The Committee was refering to those who feel that Imam Khomeini had authorized the fanatical religious leaders only. The committee mentions to the Khomeini leadership, among other things, its repudiation of the Marxist OIPFG--this going against the promise which was made in Neufl Le Chateau, which granted legitimacy to all political parties, including the Marxists.

  3. The women's demonstration in Tehran against the statement issued from Khomeini's office calling for the abrogation of the [Shah's] Family Protection Law, making it virtually impossible for women to demand a divorce. It was also against the call for concordance women's clothing and personal freedom with Islamic law. And so the women's demonstration attracted all the forces opposed to turning Iran into an Islamic republic. The demonstrators were protesting two issues: the veiling of the head and the right to divorce. It is worth mentioning that the Family Protection Law grants women the same rights as men in divorce, and prevents men from marrying more than one woman.

The article concludes by summing up the conflict as between "the reformist right and the radicals and revolutionaries, between the conservative religious leaders and the democratic secular forces, between the two ruling powers and the excluded political forces. As one of the leaders of the People's Mojaheds said, the revolution has not stopped, it is continuing."

The issue of March 31 includes an interview pp. 34-35. in Abadan Spelled 'Abedan. with "a member of Worker's Committee which organized during the uprising to organize and coordinate the working-class struggle. This comrade is now working with members of other committees, negotiating with the Bazargan government."

Regarding the working class' role in the uprising, he comments that, although they participated from the start, "at first, they mostly lacked the requisite political consciousness of their role and the importance of their struggle, and, in short, their joint activities in that period were over pure and simple trade union demands." This was superseded as the struggle intensified. They became conscious of their full political weight. “We became aware that we workers had the regime by the throat.” This political consciousness helped cut across old divisions at the refineries. By December, the strike had cut petroleum output at the refineries to a sixth of its former level. As the strike wave gathered momentum, the army occupied the refineries and some workers will killed or wounded and many were arrested. The regime tried to buy off some other workers. But all these attempts failed. The strike continued until victory. He also mentioned, incidentally, that the Kuwaiti government had shipped “great quantitative of refined petroleum” to Iran in the course of the strike.

The strike leader continued, explaining that the workers had had no prior organizational framework, neither parties nor unions. The first thing the leadership had to do was to form an action committee composed of seven workers, which took charge of the negotiations with the government's men on the one hand, and organizing the workers on the other, as well as certain practical matters, such as maintainting the power supply to hospitals. They also sent oil to the colder parts of Iran.

The interviewer next asks about the oil workers’ dispute with the current regime. Their demands include 1) an opposition to the old labor laws, 2) a demand for new laws to be drafted in consultation with workers’ representatives, 3) that there be workers' representatives in the Revolutionary Council to participate in drafting the new constitution, 4) "the dissolution of the army and the liquidation of its current structure and the formation of a people's army, since the army in its current form does not serve the interests of the masses and is a threat to the revolution and the masses' achievements since the revolution," and 5) official recognition to the workers' committees, including his own.

The interviewer then asks for his opinion regarding the government's oil policy, "particularly now that some officials have declared that they have no intention of cutting off oil shipments to the West." The worker answers first with the generality that they are demanding the abrogation of the 1956 concessions, that oil income be used for development, particularly in agriculture, and that military waste of oil be cut out. As for cutting off oil exports to the West, he pleads that, although such a thing would be a bitter blow to the West, the oil workers are not in a position to do much about it, not even having a union of their own, but he does promise that their "struggle against imperialism and its agents will deepen and radicalize when they have a union."

The interviewer then asks about the pro-working-class forces in Iran. The worker answers that after "the fascist 1953 coup, the leftist currents in Iran suffered a terribly blow, both morally and politically." There remained the National Front and Bazargan's Liberation Movement. Presumably. The article says, Islamic Movement [al-Nahdhat ul-Islami]. As for the Tudeh Party, "This party confirmed its egregious failure with its slavish policy of minutely following [the Soviets, presumably] and its lack of independence [from them]. Thus, the working class was without a revolutionary party which could lead and enlighten its struggles with the orientation of the leadership of the mass movement.

"The working class' being deprived of its revolutionary party had a negative effect on it for years on the struggle against reaction and imperialism. After this long detour, Marxist-Leninist forces began to appear, particularly the OIPFG, which played a fundamental role in its enlightening the working-class struggle, but the organization was, as we know, basicly focused on exploding the situation through military activity, something which did not allow it to sink the neccesary roots among the working class.

"This explains why the working class is under the hegemomy of the petit bourgeoisie imbued with a religious nature. But the long militant history of the of the Iranian working class and the militant legacy of the OIPFG and the perspectives of this organization in recent years to politico-military work and the increase of its struggle and implantation among the working class gives us hope--hope to rid the working class of petit-bourgeois hegemony and the formation of its revolutionary party.

"Incidently, when Tudeh Party General Secratery Mr. Kianuri Presumably. The magazine writes Kian Nuri. said that the Tudeh Party was behind the Iranian class uprising, we could only laugh or feel sorry for him, since this has no basis in truth."

The worker concludes by asking Al-Hadaf to convey his greetings "to the Palestinian working class" and pledging permanent loyalty to "the Palestinian revolution and its militant left."

The issue of April 7, 1979, carries an article pp. 32-33. which appeared under a picture of a massive crowd of angry Iranian women participating in the Iranian Woman's Day demonstration. Its headline is "The Islamic Republic Is a Slogan of Ambiguous Content." Khomeini's allies pushed through a take-it-or-leave-it referendum offering the voters a choice between an Islamic republic and a return to the monarchy. The political spectrum is graded with respect to support versus opposition to this referendum.

After quoting Minister of Information Amir 'Abbas Entezam that some 20% of the population are expected to boycott the elections, it notes that among those who raised "mild criticisms of the paucity of choices being offered," President Bazargan, "explained that he was voting for "a republic which would be both Islamic and democratic." "Then religious leader Ayatollah Khomeini objected to what he termed qualifying the Islamic republic. The referendum was preceded by a vast propaganda campaign in which the religious leader delivered a televised message to the Iranian people in which he linked those in the opposition to the imperialist government, and this, while secular elements were raising two basic demands everywhere they went: an explanation of just what an Islamic republic was in the first place, and, second, what rights there would be to freedom of political action for propaganda and organization. These elements participated alongside the clergy and Khomeini's companions in toppling the Shah's regime and offered many martyrs in the period leading up to the final uprising."

The opposition by the OIPFG and the People's Mojahedin is noted, the latter being quoted as commenting in a statement, "Do we want the masses' opposition to the royalist regime to be manipulated into a vote for an Islamic republic? Posing the question in this way [i.e., through the referendum] is unfair," and calls on the Bazargan government to offer the people a real choice.

The Islamic Republican Party is the only element quoted as supporting the referendum. The section on it reads, "The IRP, which is currently composed of Ayatollah Khomeini's companions, declared, "An Islamic republic is the only guarantor of democracy and equality, and the Iranians must vote for it. All who oppose it will be considered participants in the counter-revolution, and we must be very wary of them."

"As opposed to this, the other Islamic party, which is composed of [Ayatollah] Shari'atmadari's companions, declared that a democratic context for the referendum requires that there be [an answer to the question], 'what system do you want?! The masses who overthrew the most repressive emperor in the modern East now stands before the problem of democracy for which they fought, and they must be given freedom to express their aims.' "

Similar objections are raised by "Mosaddeq's grandson, [Matin-] Daftari" and his National Democratic Front. One of its proposals was the election of workers' delegates to iron out a new constitution. It also demands granting political parties their rights and "an end to the campaign of attacks on women."

The discussion on the national minorities begins deploring the fact that Ayatollah Taleqani's mission to Kurdistan on behalf of the government failed, "the Kurds insisting on their right to autonomy," and mentioning that "the Kurdish movement is led by a number of organizations, the most important of which is the KDP led by Qasemlu. Kurdish autonomists bombed a polling place and fighting broke out on the day of the referendum in Sanandaj."

In addition, fighting broke out three days before the referendum in the Turkoman region between tribesmen and the "Islamic militia" over land owned by the Shah, the former wanting to distribute the land among themselves, the latter wanting it to pass into government hands. The article mentions that the Shi'ites in the area tended to participate, while the Sunnis (which would include the tribesmen) boycotted.

The author concludes on the pessimistic note that the victory of the Islamic republic in the referendum did not prove that its partisans were democratic; their behavior indicated that "the supporters of the call for the Islamic republic were monopolizing the rights of others, and this is in contradiction to democratic principles, for it is the right of the majority to rule, just as it is the right of the other side to struggle to become the majority, and this means giving them the freedom of action and propaganda and the right to organize and form parties." The fight for freedom under the new order is seen as a continuation of the fight for freedom under the Shah.

The issue of April 14 carries an article pp. 34-35. on the conditions of workers in Iran. Demonstrations have been organized against the problem of chronic unemployment in Iran. Bazargan promised that there would be some million new jobs as the economy begins to pull itself back together, but the article calls it insignificant in the face of the Iran's massive unemployment. The author then digresses on the dismal employment picture under the Shah, quoting, inter alia, Oil and Violence by Bani-Sadr, Presumably. Called "Hasán Ibn Sadr. "Ayatollah Khomeini's current economic advisor." The article faces the havoc Iran's rapid population growth wreaks on any plan for tackling unemployment, although it still seems to hold that these problems could be solved through Iran's formidable oil wealth.

The article then says that "the Iranian wretched working class has never paused in its relentless struggling. From the workers' revolution to the general nationalizations of 1953, it has offered martyr after martyr, dreaming of a just and honorable existence," thus taking the reader up to the refinery workers' strikes which helped bring the Shah down. These last were struggling with all their hopes placed in a "springtime of the revolution" in which the workers would be given their trade-union rights and guaranteed housing and other social necessities. The article then digresses on how under the Shah the workers were deprived of the right to organize or to "have magazines or newspapers which would explain them their rights and aquaint them with the labor law which Parliament had established in 1946 and to which the Mosaddeq government added an article which reducd working hours to eight hours a day, a law which remained, however, on paper," citing "Iranian economist Behruz Montazemi." The article continued, describing the meager wages and living conditions the workers endured.

The article concludes that the revolution can solve the unemployment problem by setting up a new economic order, that it is a capitalist phenomenon and that the revolution should involve the people in production and administration, that socialist revolution has shown that it is possible to transform a wretched and hungry people into an active and vibrant one when "the working class becomes master of its true interests through a revolutionary transformation to lead its struggle."

The issue of August 11, 1979, contains an article on what the author see as the threat to the revolution posed by the Iranian army, increasingly being relied upon to solve the its political problems, primarily the national question.

The article opens with a quick look at the elections to the Assembly of Experts which was to draft the new constitution. It begins, "It was noticed that in the elections, particularly in Kurdistan, Khuzistan, Marivan, and Gonbad-e Kavus, the elections were a great success, but it was also noticed that it was successful for the candidates which were not associated with the Islamic current.

"While the elections to the Assembly of Experts absorbed the attention of the masses of the Iranian people and that of the Iranian religious leadership and even that of the parties boycotting the elections, the masses in the hot spots in the Arab and Kurdish minority regions were not so much awaiting the results of these elections as much as they were awaiting an outbreak of fighting here or there between the supporters of autonomy on the one hand and the Iranian armed forces and the Revolutionary Guards on the other, or news of a ceasefire agreement here or the collapse of a ceasefire agreement there between representatives of these minorities and representatives of the religious government." The latter has not even a plan to solve this problem, "which is becoming one of the fundamental dangers to the Iranian revolution. The Western seige of the Iranian revolution cannot bear the entire blame for this dangerous conflict, rather, it must be shared by the religious leadership and, to an extent, the leadership of these minorities." Later, the author would remark, "As much as the there appears to be a lack of clarity about the meaning of autonomy among the religous rulers, there also seems to be a short-sightedness on the part of some of the minorities' leaders who do not want to appreciate the Iranian revolution's resistance to the forces opposing it, forces which have not been sitting on their hands since the Shah fell, and thus appreciate the possibility that these leaders' exerting intense pressure on Tehran to weaken the new government and to open it to the blows of the counter-revolution, which, if it were to succeed, would not provide these minorities with anything; they would be its first victims."

Thus, the article says that "it is natural that these minorities—Kurds and Arabs—would raise the demand for autonomy" after the years of monarchist repression." But Khomeini's propaganda to these forces to unite under Islam is considered to be a negative answer to the demands for autonomy in Kurdistan and Khuzistan, and reflects a confusion between autonomy and secession, despite the fact that no minority has raised the demand for secession." Such misunderstandings could push the minorities into the arms of the counter-revolution or secessionism. This presumably unintentional "misunderstanding" has led the government "to increasingly rely on the armed forces to crush the minorities' movements for autonomy. It all started with a fight between supporters of autonomy and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards which considered them counter-revolutionary and it turned into the government's resorting to the Army to stamp out the minorities, and then to using the Air Force to bomb population concentrations in a way which would have been hard for the revolution's supporters to have imagined, as if they were continuing imperial policy. On the other hand, the short-sightedness of some of the minorities' leaderships led them to exert heavy pressure on the Iranian nationalist government just when it was facing a seige being conducted by all the Western governments, and this pressure, in turn, led this government to gradually accept the idea of using force to crush what the Iranian military was beginning to call disturbances in the provinces, and they said it was up to them to return security and order to these regions, just when the religious leadership was talking about how to solve the minority problem and how to defuse the powder keg which the forces opposed to the nationalist government in Iran were trying to ignite."

An example of the military's mentality is given by Army Chief of Staff General Rahimi, "who enjoys Imam Ayatollah Khomeini's confidence." He angrily rejects Newsweek's statement that the Iranian army is useless, boasting that its foundations are being re-established and that he has sent a force of two thousand to Khuzistan to "restore order" among the "rebelious Arabs." In reply, Sheikh Khaqani, "the religious leader of the Khuzistani Arabs" is quoted as declaring that "Rahimi would have to send thirteen thousand men or more."

The article comments that the West, lurking in wait, is pleased with the use of the army "as well as the intensification of some of the leaders of these minorities in stepping up the pressure on the nationalist leadership just when this leadership is feeling the pressure of the seige and its dangers. These two lines are both aggravating one of the basic dangers facing the nationalist government. This aggravation means an increase in the role of the Iranian army, rebuilt on the basis of the tradition established during imperial times and of which General Rahimi is an example, despite his well-known friendship with the religious leadership and the leadership of Imam Ayatollah Khomeini in particular." The article focuses on Bazargan's role in re-building the army and getting the soldiers back into the barracks.

Just as the Western media exaggerates the divisions in the government as part of its psychological warfare, Yet this comment in its context cannot be seen simply as a defense of the government against charges of its being divided. Rather, it forces Khomeini's men to share the burden of culpability for Bazargan's and the military's pro-American policies. Indeed, in this article, there is no effort made to distinguish between the two forces; the article says that the military procurement policies being followed by the government "strengthen the concerns generated by the policy towards the army which is being followed by the religious government" tout court. it also exagerates the demands of the minorities, describing their struggle as one between non-Persian secessionists and Persians. This is to "push the religious leadership" to lean yet more heavily on the army, the reconstruction of which gives them great satisfaction, since they are "preparing it as their chief instrument to use against the nationalist government and deal a blow to it."

In this, President Bazargan is complicit, having announced earlier in August that military contracts amounting to some $40 billion between the United States and Iran had not been canceled. It also cites a document from "the leftist newspaper Kar" Central organ of the OIPFG. purporting to be a copy of a top-secret memo from Bazargan to Defense Minister General Riahi regarding the purchase of spare parts from the Americans for the Iranian army. This sort of policy "will lead, in the final analysis, to a policy of using force and relying on the army to solve nationalist and ethnic troubles in particular, and to restore its foundations and accustom it to playing such a role, indeed, to accustom it to being a tool to outflank the nationalist government and abort the revolution."

The remainder of the article discusses the arming of the Iranian army under the Shah and the military hardware the Americans have in the Gulf region. The American intervention force as such is merely a tool to pressure Iran, an element of psychological warfare, and would not suffice to overthrow the current government. This would require a force within Iran itself. Indeed, no sooner had Shahpur Bakhtiar reached France after fleeing Iran than he warned that the religious leadership"was mistaken to humiliate the army."

From the issue of August 25 to that of October 13, Al-Hadaf takes a much sharper tone tone against the central government. The article in that issue p. 35. leads with the comment that "Doubtless, the forces which set off these events will not retreat while the religious government resorts to pouring oil on the fire by resorting to using the army which does not extinguish the fire, but will turn it to hot coals under the ashes, ready to burst out at any moment."

The hostile West is "counting on an outburst of fighting and this justifies concern over the course the Iranian people's revolution is taking, particularly in light of the policy being pursued by the Iranian religious leadership and the policy being pursued by the leadership of the minorities which demand that the revolution grant them their rights of which they had been deprived under the old monarchical dictatorship. These policies lead, as we saw in the events of the past two weeks, to a sharpening of the problems. In the past week, fighting between armed fanatical Muslims on the one hand, and members of the People's Mojahedin and the leftist and democratic secular forces on the other, led to some 300 being killed. During the past four days, 376 were killed in fighting in Kurdistan.

The fighting in Kurdistan is between Qasemlu's KDP and "Islamic militiamen." Instead of taking advantage of a ten-day gap in the fighting "to focus on the problem of the minorities in the country and to do something to create common ground to defuse the powder-keg, [the government] used military force to repress them." Similarly, the opportunity was lost for people of good will to keep the armed minorities from exerting pressure on Tehran, which itself was under pressure from the counter-revolution.

The fighting in Kurdistan began when armed Kurds stormed a government post in a city, demanding autonomy. Official spokesmen called this an armed rebellion and Khomeini issued a violently-worded statement to that effect and called for the crushing of the "leaders of these gangs." The article comments, "This shows that the religious government is increasingly relying upon the Iranian armed forces." The article offers the example of Paveh: "While burying members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards who had fallen in a recent battle, those present demanded the execution of the Kurdish rebels as well as the crushing of the Kurdish insurgency, regardless of the reasons for the movement of the Kurdish minority. Khomeini in "the most violent declaration delivered since his victorious return to Iran" then ordered all forces to Paveh, warning that any hesitation and not crushing the rising within twenty-four hours would be considered treason, that the military should use all available means to crush the rebellion. But, the article noted, "there was no mention in this statement of the demand for autonomy which the Kurdish minority had been raising—"as had the Arab minority"—since the revolution. There was no effort made to seek a political solution instead. "The Kurdish demands were being drowned out by sound of bullets." Such an approach will only provoke "some of the minorities' leaders" into further mobilizing their ranks, something which would lead to bloody fighting which could be manipulated by imperialism to use to its own ends.

The article concludes by relating the repression in Kurdistan to the repression in the rest of Iran, with the government disarming the opposition groups and closing down their newspapers, which were "tribunes from which they would converse with the government on the issues which were leading up to the fighting, while the Western governments lie in wait. "The death of several hundred people in several days' fighting resulted from demonstrations for freedom of the press and democratic liberties, and the death of several hundred others in four days' fighting was the result of the demand for autonomy for the Kurdish minority. The Iranian people's revolution's friends have been waiting for the religious leadership to illuminate an obscure point regarding these demands, for the religious leadership's promises during the Iranian people's uprising and throughout their victory were always unclear, as we remember it."

This trend continues in the issue of September 1, 1979, with the publication of a summary of an August 5 open letter pp. 32-33. to Khomeini from the KDP's Qasemlu. "It is written at a time when the propaganda campaign launched by the apparatus associated with the IRP against the people of Kurdistan and the KDP-Iran in particular reached its peak. The attack reached the point of charging the party with treason and with having relations with the Zionist enemy. Qasemlu denies the charges against him and then neatly turns the tables here by pointing out that elements in the government's military definitely had ties with the monarchy and which played a clear role in promoting the "fratricidal war in Kurdistan."

Qasemlu goes on to relate some of the KDP's history of activity against the Shah since the Mahabad Republic of 1946. His party has been on record as supporting the overthrow of the monarchy and played a role in doing just this, as well as supporting the formation of a federated union of Iran. After the revolution, the KDP expressed its willingness "to support the revolution's leader and the Bazargan government. Qasemlu objects, more specificly, to the absence of any Kurdish representative on the revolutionary councils in the cities of Orumiyeh, Salmas, etc., despite a heavy Kurdish presence there, as well as the non-promotion of "patriotic Kurdish officers" and the inclusion of Kurds in the "domestic security service." He also objects to the arming of the landlords in Urmia and not the farmers. The KDP was forbidden to function publicly in Kurdistan, although permission was granted other parties to do so. Khomeini is urged to employ his courage and ability to face problems unflinchingly and repudiate those call the Kurds secessionists, as in the Shah's time and to exercise his humanity to defend the rights of the suffering peoples of Iran and to included an article in the constitution supporting the right to autonomy. He also objects to the radio's and television's way of handling the Kurdish question: "We declare before you that Kurdistan is facing catastrophe, that there is a conspiracy being hatched against the suffering Kurdish people and you and you alone can put a stop to these conspiracies." He promises that the Kurdish people will defend the revolution's achievements as one, "as you yourself said: the Iranian people will not stand idly by in the defense of their acquired rights." In sum, they express their hope that an end will be made to the anti-Kurdish media barrage and that the Khomeini order the government to listen to the Kurds' just demands.

A second article pp. 34-35. presents more analysis of the fighting in Kurdestan and the general crisis of democracy under the Islamic Republic. The article is introduced with the comment, "The bloody fighting in the regions populated by the Kurdish minority intensified, and with a rise in their steadfastness, the extent of the role the Iranian army will play because of the religious government became more evident. The situation throughout Iran is beginning to deteriorate," while relations with the Americans were beginning to warm up. "There are some elements in the government sufficiently steeped in reaction and fanaticism and chauvinism as to open up to Washington and the capitalist West as a whole."

The article itself begins by saying that, "Fears about the revolution's health have been confirmed. The language of power has begun to drown out all other voices." "The two sides have begun to vie with each other in announcing who killed more of the enemy." The government announced it will execute Kurds and a Kurdish spokesman announced that his fighters will kill one Revolutionary Guard for each Kurd executed. The government is beefing up its forces in Kurdistan. The Army, the Revolutionary Guards, and the Air Force are jointly attacking the Kurdish fighters. The Army is particularly singled out for "resorting to harsh repression in the cities it has retaken from the Kurds." "Ayatollah Khalkhali, known for his opposition to the minorities of Iran, sentences KDP members to be executed, charging them with "making war on God and the people" Sic. For "the people," read, "His Prophet." and the religious leadership repeatedly attacks the Kurds for being "terrorists, provocateurs, and conspirators." The government has accused the Kurdish fighters of having ties with the old regime, of working for foreigners and the counter-revolution, as well being separatists. A ceasefire was arranged by Ayatollah Taleqani and a Kurdish delegation, including the head of the Mahabad Islamic Council, but the government stuck to its position and it collapsed, the two sides having spent their time digging in for the inevitable resumption of fighting. Bazargan praised the Army lavishly. (Again, no effort is made by the author to distinguish between Bazargan's position and Khomeini's.)

Meanwhile, the "religious government's forces" have launched an attack on "the democratic secular and leftist forces which had begun to actively organize an opposition movement inside Iran." This attack was launched when "Khomeini declared himself Supreme Leader of the Armed Forces and issued orders to the army to crush the Kurdish movement. At the same time, Khomeini issued his most severe attack up to that point on the opposition parties and organizations and on the press. This began with a campaign to close most of the newspapers and magazines and was accompanied by a call to "civilians" to surrender their weapons. It is worth mentioning that the attack on the leftist forces began with attacks with stones and iron chains on people in well-known leftist centers. These attacks led to the formation of a new organization, the Tawhid Organization, led by Chief Revolutionary Prosecutor Ayatollah Khalkhali, well known for his rightist views."

These attacks spread when "a crowd of the religious government's supporters held a demonstration protesting the closing of Ayandegan and the arrest of three of its editors." These mobs then turned their attention to the leftists, attacking the offices of the OIPFG, The Tudeh Party, and other leftist organizations in Tehran. These mobs shouted, "Death to atheist communists!" and burned what they could find. They then attacked "the progressive Organization of Iranian People's Mojahedin. It is well-known that this organization, with its Islamic perspective, supports a socialist program and insists on the rights of all those who fought to overthrow the Shah to express their views freely, including Marxists. It is also well-known that the OIPFG and the Organization of Iranian People's Mojahedin played a crucial role in forcing the Shah's army off the streets of Tehran." Ayatollah Qomi ordered the closing of 26 newspapers because they stir unrest against the Islamic Republic and attack it and have taken positions of supporting those responsible for the troubles in Kurdistan and have taken advantage the freedom which the Islamic government has given them. Similarly, the government announced it would disarm "all political organizations, and no one will have weapons except for the Army, the Revolutionary Guards and the Revolutionary Committees and members and guards of the Revolutionary Council. And this, while they issue orders for the arrest of Mr. Hedayatollah Matin-Daftari for being the head of the NDF and Mr. Reza Marzban for being the editor in chief of Peigham-e Emruz."

"Dealing with the Kurdish movement by giving free rein to the armed forces to crush it and responding with repression to the forces of the opposition which were comrades in arms during the revolution against the Shah's regime is a danger signal on the state of the Iranian people's revolution's health." This hard-line treatment of the Kurdish movement and the internal opposition in general, rather than staving off counter-revolution, only helps it by dividing the front which could be united against it. The article concludes by calling for "a broad national front against dictatorship, imperialism, and Zionism, which would include all secular, democratic, and leftist forces in addition to the progressive religious forces and purge the ranks of the government of reactionary elements which are preparing the way for the counter-revolution's activities." The very real danger it is to combat is the government's softening attitude towards the Americans just when it is intensifying its attack on the internal opposition.

Finally, a short piece by "J. 'Ain" p. 36. begins by observing that the coalition which came together to overthrow the Shah had other "political and economic and social goals in the interests of the broad masses of people. So the question which forcefully poses itself now is: Is what is happening now in Iran in the interests of the Iranian revolution?"

He answers, first, that the revolution's victory was made possible through "the unity of all nationalist and progressive forces and uniting with the masses of people." Since the revolution is not over, but rather faces its most difficult tasks, it requires, "doubtless, the unity of the revolutionary forces themselves and the formulation of a program which would fortify the revolution and its steadfastness." In this context, it decries the fighting between the government and the national minorities and the repression of the rights of those political forces which had fought against the Shah.

Second, the revolution's enemies are 1) "world imperialism led by American imperialism," which seeks to impose a regime which supports its interests in the region; 2) "international Zionism represented by Israel and its secret organizations and apparati spread throughout the world, including Iran;" 3) "Iranian reaction the most important and dangerous, since it is able to play a role in executing imperialism's and Zionism's plans and is powerfully supported by Arab reaction, which is afraid of the spirit of change." This latter is divided into two groups: a) "religious elements with a reactionary orientation, which are intent upon safeguarding their positions and preventing nationalist and progressive elements from occupying any positions which might impact upon the country's political orientation in a way which might serve the revolution's interests, and simililarly, surround the religious elements which have a democratic and progressive perspective, such as that of Imam Taleqani, etc." and b) those loyal to the old monarchy "who can rise to and occupy a limited number of positions in order to implement certain plans which are sent them from abroad. This force is supported by the American intelligence apparatus, 'Israel,' and Arab reaction and places a motivating and supportive role in many events now taking place in Iran."

The conclusion is that, first, the Iranian government should resolve the national question in a democratic way; second, grant democratic liberties to "the political parties and mass organizations and the press, provided that they are not against the masses and their true interests;" and, third, "reform the administrative, military, and security apparati on a revolutionary basis and purge them for all time of all elements which were loyal to the Shah or whose support for the revolution and the Iranian masses is in doubt." Allowing matters to continue in their current direction, there will be a "vast civil war" and the revolution's enemies will pounce on it and demolish it.

This theme is taken up in an article which appeared in the issue of October 13, 1979. pp. 32-33. It is opened with the remark that "The revolution which Ayatollah Khomeini led and which toppled the Shah's regime, which imperialism had groomed to rule over the Gulf and play the role of cop against the liberation movements in that region, is now faced with mounting dangers from within and without." It continues, saying that the imperialists have not given up, that they are waiting for the moment to strike, using the "sensitive positions" they have in the military establishment. The fighting "in the Kurdish and Arab regions" give them the opportunity to prepare themselves. The government's policy of settling the national question with violence and not through peaceful negotiations has opened the door to such maneuvers. Moreover, it has led the government to try to re-establish ties with the Americans, allowing Iran to import American military hardware of up to $300 million. This money, in turn, was part of a sum of $4 billion which the American Congress had authorized to be sent to Iran and which the revolutionaries cancelled, since this would lead to American military advisors returning to Iran. Besides, "these weapons are part of a project of implementing the old policy of Iranian expansionism which was aimed at restoring the Persian Empire of old." As "Ayatollah Khomeini's economic advisor Abol-Hasan Bani-Sadr" put it, "The Iranian revolution is uninterested in reviving the Shah's expansionist dreams and tools of repression, but wants to realize the aspirations of the impoverished masses on a democratic basis, and there has been and will be no need for the horrible waste in armaments or in maintaining military procurement contracts."

The article says that now, "it is the religious leadership which can mobilize the entire Iranian masses and rally around themselves all the democratic and leftist organizations and those of the ethnic and religious minorities and try to have a far-reaching impact on the governments of the region, to get them to rise up against imperialism and regional repression and enlist its forces for the victory of the world national liberation movements for the sake of a just world. It is this leadership which, out of negligence, or out of a lack of awareness of the basic laws which allow peoples to win victories through broad fronts, able to stand up to any intervention from abroad or counter-attack from within, or out of fanaticism and political monopolization, has openly or secretly strengthened the counter-force which threatens the revolution from within, and this means that the rightist political organizations have succeeded in ambushing the lofty religious and nationalist policies." Instead of striking at the enemy, the leadership attacks its allies, "destroying the possibility of a nationalist alliance which could contain the counter-revolution" and continue the work of repairing the damage the Shah had done to the country. In this regard, "the absence of the progressive nationalist leader Ayatollah Taqleqani, who could have played a role in unifying and rallying the nationalist forces and those of the national minorities" is particularly felt. He had no part in "the government's misuse of opportunists and unaware people in the Revolutionary Guards in spreading contention between the nationalist forces and the religious leadership."

The article also protests the article which "grants the imamate rights which are essentially contrary to the essence of Islam, which demands revolution against the oppressive ruler." "The most oppressive article of the new constitution" gives the Imam "unlimited powers." It also objects to attempts to Islamicize the constitution, "which would cover all attempts by democratic forces on behalf of any political or democratic liberties. Newspapers have been banned and revolutionary offices have been closed and the Council of Experts has suffered a great loss with the absence of Taleqani on the one hand, and the exclusion of sound people on the other." This has allowed "reactionary religious forces" to block the revolution's progress.

"As for the national minorities's regions, some elements of the domestic right have tried to force the revolution to support Persian dominance and imposed Persian in important positions in the minority regions, damaging the confidence of these minorities in the revolution, and of course, foreign forces have played an important role in heightening ethnic conflicts." The article quotes Ayatollah Taleqani as objecting to the fact that the constitution contains no provisions for autonomy. Rather, the issue is being handled by the military, imperialism's chosen tool for insinuating itself back into Iran.

The article is concerned about the impact of the religious right on Iran's foreign policy. For example, it mentions "Ayatollah Ruhani's irresponsible statements about annexing Bahrein, etc., and Ebrahim Yazdi's statements about the Gulf that it is Persian, as opposed to Ayatollah Khomeini's policy, which is to name it Islamic" in order to safeguard the unity of the Arab and Iranian peoples. This rightist current's "true intentions" are to return Iran to its days of military profligancy and restore ties with the Americans and resume the Shah's role of dominating the Gulf region. "The religious leadership is still able to overcome imperialist intervention, by adopting a policy of purging the reactionary right and restoring recognition to the nationalist revolutionary forces and opening new vistas to nationalist and progressive work and strenthening the domestic front and granting democracy to all forces and the national minorities which could base society on justice and equality and what could be called the essence of the Iranian revolution and the goal of the religious leadership.

"A return of the rights of the nationalist and democratic forces in Iran and the drafting of a nationalist program to solve all the problems, including that of the national minorities, is the way to cut the attempts of the reactionary rightist forces which to abort the revolution of the Iranian masses led by Khomeini."

The issue of October 27 contains a summary of a press conference with Ayatollah Khomeini's grandson, Hosein, held October 24 in Lebanon "in the presence of all the Islamic and nationalist forces." He stressed the practical steps being taken in cooperation with the Islamic Republic for the population of the south (schools, hospitals, shelters, housing reconstruction), for which it feels a certain responsibility. He said, "The southerners are with the Palestinian revolution in the best sense and made it a guest in their home. Their homes have been bombed because of this revolution and they are still steadfast and love steadfastness, and need no advise from certain people about steadfastness, for these mentors have never offered the revolution a thing except to sit in their mansions and support the revolution with slogans and in newspapers, but the impoverished south has cooperated with the revolution in practice."

He called on the Arab states to use their oil weapon and said that what is happening in the south concerns the whole Middle East, Zionism's plans for southern Lebanon threaten the whole region.

The article concludes by quoting Hosein Khomeini as denying that there were any tensions between the Iranian and Palestinian revolutions.

2) Dr. Habash's Views on Events

Soon after the uprising, Dr. Habash made some extended remarks on the Iranian revolution at a rally, in the presence of a member of OIPFG.

He opens these remarks with a salute "from the bottom of our hearts to the martyrs of the nationalist revolution who wanted with their blood and their sacrifice to enable the masses of the Iranian people to overthrow the reactionary agent regime, the imperial agent regime, to establish the people's power the power of the Iranian masses."

He then launches on a digression on the meaning of martyrdom: "Those who understand the meaning and stature of human life, understand at the same time the meaning of sacrifice and the extent of the sacrifice that martyrs offer, and before this flood of sacrifices, we consider it necessary to declare before the entire world that we will never in any way allow all these sacrifices to be in vain. These sacrifices will deepen the determination in our souls and will sharpen our wills so that we might continue in our long struggle will full determination year after year, month after month, week after week, day after day, until the complete achievement of the Palestinians' and Arabs' and international goals for which all martyrs have sought martyrdom.

You see, in this period, ever more clearly and obviously and palpably, the imperialist-Zionist-reactionary onslaught against all progressive forces in the Arab world and in the Lebanese context and in the Palestinian context, and this escalation is traceable to the great loss which imperialist interests suffered as a result of the victory of the Iranian revolution.

The Iranian revolution and its outcome in Iran is very great, it has rocked imperialism's strategic foundations, particularly in the Middle East. We all know that the Shah's regime represented a fundamental base for imperialism, expecially in its military and petroleum strategy, and regarding support to its interests in the whole Arab world. What has happened in Iran has dealt a heavy blow to the enemy's plans and so we find they are hastily making new plans to quarantine the Iranian revolution with the aim that quarantining the Iranian revolution's achievements, not only in Iran itself, but the achievements of the masses and the revolution in particular which the Iranian revolution gave the whole Middle East region and the Arab world and these achievements include the new potentional and power which have been opened up to the Palestinian revolution; what happened in Iran requires from us long consideration and deep patience to extract the basic lessons and extract the heavy responsibility which it places on our shoulders, too, as a progressive Palestinian or Lebanese or Arab force, the responsibility which the revolution in Iran places on our shoulders. What has happened in Iran presents a clear lesson, and that is that the masses can imose their will when they are mobilized behind a radical political line and a revolutionary leadership which has faith in its victory. In addition, there are two basic lessons which we must benefit from in our struggle on the level of the Arab world as a whole.

The first is that what happened in Iran shows clearly that this model, which American imperialism thought could stand up in the face of the masses and in the face of their will, this model which rested on a massive and vast army of spies such as SAVAK in Iran and which rested on a basis of a massive and vast army armed with the most modern weapons, this model which rested on a vast apparatus of repression and which spread it and fortified it with all sorts of modern technology and stood at the same time on the back of a class of middlemen and compradors and agents which represented imperialism in supporting its interests and in exploiting and crushing the masses, such a model which some began to believe would be the most difficult apparatus for the revolutionary forces to smash through and that they were doomed, given the repressive apparatus arrayed against them and the great oil wealth at its disposal—events arose in Iran which showed us clearly that this Iranian model, and it is the Saudi model and essentially the Gulf model, could be worn down and destroyed, that it was not able and will not be able, to stand up to the will of the masses determined to get their rights. I wanted to point out this lesson so that we might benefit from it, and that the elements of the Arab revolution might benefit from it in Saudi Arabia and in all the oil countries, for I have sometimes thought that the regimes in these countries, with their oil wealth, could impose their will inside their countries and on the Arab world, I have thought that with their petrodollars, they could build the most powerful armies and the most powerful intelligence apparatus, bribe a certain class and export counter-revolution outside their borders. Indeed, one must present to our progressive comrades in the Arab peninsula in particular the Iranian example, the concrete example that will give them confidence in their power to completely overthrow this model which American imperialism has developed.

As for the second lesson, it is that, [although] it seems to some that this mass uprising which developed in Iran is something strange and inexplicable, I want to emphasize that the prolonged and persistent revolutionary uprising began with the Iranian people's vanguards many years ago, and the armed struggle which the Shah was able to cover up, the armed struggle which the Organization of People's Fedain and the Organization of People's Mojahedin launched, this heroic struggle which ended up offering tens and hundreds and thousands of martyrs from among their members and cadres and leaders in the prisons or on the field of battle, this daily-accumulating struggle which continued day in and day out in the context of the Shah's feeling able to found his eternal empire, this struggle of the awesomely patient vanguard which continued despite all difficulties, this is what gave birth to the accumulated method of prolonged struggle which enabled, at the right moment, the explosion of mass rage and the explosion of the sense of class oppression under which the Iranian masses lived.

We, in the Arab revolution, have the urgent need to fully comprehend such a lesson. Some of the vanguards now feel that their horizon of struggle is closed in in some of the reactionary oil states. The Iran experience gives us a palpable indication that this vanguard struggle has not been in vain; the results will not appear immediately; the results will not appear in one day or in one year, they will not appear after ten years, so practical experience tells us that this struggle and accumulation which gave birth to this struggle and the accumulation of consciousness among the masses is what reaches an exploding point at the right time, in which the masses' will and its victory is crystalized. the lessons of the Iranian experience and the Iranian revolution are many, there isn't time to mention them now. What I want to do is to state clearly for the record is that the victory which was won in Iran is a victory for us in the Palestinian revolution. Think of what a great victory it has been for the Palestinian revolution when Iran was transformed from a fortress of imperialism, an open field for Zionist interests (the Zionist Sonil Buneh Company is one of them, it had projects in Iran of some $300 million), and everyone knows the intimate relationship between the Israeli intelligence apparatus and SAVAK. Iran was wide open for Zionism. Imagine what a great victory it was when it was turned from an imperialist base into a base for our victory and the Palestinian revolution's victory. So allow me to salue in all your names the heroic Iranian people's victory, allow me to salute in all your names the leader, Imam Khomeini, who set an example with his basic political firmness when he foiled all efforts to gut the revolution and abort it when they tried to bargain with him in Paris.

It is incumbent upon us, our practical understanding of the matter demands of us to appreciate the leading nationalist and important role played by Imam Khomeini in the Iranian people's victory and I also salute at the same time Imam Taleqani, that figure who was tortured in the Shah's prisons and lived among the militants of different Iranian resistance organizations in those days. We hail Imam Taleqani, who overcame, in his life and struggle, the Shah's regime's efforts and knew what a tool of oppression is, who towered over the revolution advancing in Iran. Here, there is a pun on Taleqani and the verb ATL (fourth form of TLL), to overcome, to tower over.

We, as a progressive force in the Palestinian context, present the loftiest congratulations and respect to our heroic comrades who blazed the trail of armed struggle in Iran, our comrades of the Organization of [Iranian] People's Fedai [Guerillas]. And we salute the Organization of People's Mojaheds, who also participated side by side with the OIPFG in blazing the trail for armed struggle in Iran. This struggle was sometimes able to smash through the Iranian imperial regime's terror and encouraged the masses and strengthened their faith in their ability to win, and so it is one of our first duties in the Palestinian revolution and one of our first duties in the Arab revolution and it is incubent upon all nationalist forces in the Arab region to recognize the importance of supporting the Iranian revolution as our firm duty in this period, the Iranian revolution's success and its steadfastness and its ability to overcome the obstacles which face it will give our Palestinian struggle and our Arab struggle a powerful and sturdy fortress. The hope and inspiration it gives the Iranian revolution and its role up through the liberation of usurped Palestinian land impels us to persevere in our responsibility before our obligation to support the Iranian revolution. Naturally, supporting the Iranian revolution obligates us to the Iranian masses first, and obligates us to all the nationalist and progressive and revolutionary forces in Iran and with all our scientific understanding of the meaning of the position of revolutionary alliance and internationalist alliance, we feel that it is our right to emphasize two basic points.

The first point is that all the nationalist, progressive, and revolutionary forces which participated in the joint formation of solidarity with the overthrow of the Shah's regime must have the keenest interest in the continuation of this cooperation and the continuation of this solidarity. The proper slogan in this period for the formation of relationships between various nationalist and progressive and revolutionary forces in Iran is the slogan of a broad front which would include in it all the forces which participated in smashing the Shah's system regardless of any religious or ideological differences between these forces. So we must know what imperialism is counting on to strike at the Iranian revolution in this period. Imperialism has used these weapons many times in our Arab world, and it still knows how to strike at revolutions with these weapons and abort them. The weapon which imperialism relies upon is the sharpening and intesifying of differences between nationalist and progressive forces, so that the struggle becomes a fight between these forces instead of a struggle with the forces of evil, with the forces of the lackeys, with the forces of imperialism, and so the duty of all nationalist forces keen on supporting the revolution in Iran is to reject this and strengthen the cooperation and strengthen the cohesion and strengthen the solidarity between all nationalist and progressive and revolutionary forces which participated in achieving the aim of overthrowing the Shah.

The agreement of all these forces upon a joint national-democratic program does not necessitate agreement in this stage on all the aims of the national-democratic revolution. A joint national democratic program is based, first, on purging all the remnants of the agent imperial regime and basing oneself in the first place on ejecting imperialist and Zionist interests from Iran and wiping them out. The national democratic program is based on socio-economic principles and presents the acquisitions of the toiling popular classes which won the victory with their blood. The political program is composed of a minimal program which confirms the value of democratic relations and the principle of democracy as a value and a foundation to solve all conflicts between various nationalist and progressive forces. The nationalist program presents a democratic solution to the various nationalities in Iran and the formation of a broad front which agrees on a minimal program of the national-democratic program, this is the idea which we felt compelled to present to our comrades and brothers and all the nationalist and democratic and progressive forces which struggled long and explained long before they succeeded in overthrowing the Shah's regime.

We return now to our region after the events in Iran and in light of the defeat imperialism suffered and which has forced imperialism to consider escalating its attacks on the Arab world," whereupon Dr. Habash launches into a discussion on US intervention in the Gulf.

The rally closes with a speech by a representative of the OIPFG. He discussed the program raised by the Fedais at their rally at Tehran University. He then continued, recounting the insurrection in which "tens of thousands of revolutionary cadres were killed." The workers played a key role in the victory, since it would have been much more difficult but for the general strikes, but "all the peoples of Iran and all classes of people... participated in the revolution." The goal of the revolution is to eliminate the domination by imperialism and the regime allied to it. "Reviving the old antipopular regime's foundations would bring the revolution to a halt half-way" and a bargaining away of all its achievements. The further slogans he raised were revolutionary people's committees in every neighborhood (rather like the Cuban model); returning land to the peasants from whom it had been stolen and a democratic land reform for the poor peasants and peasants councils; a people's army to replace the current one, to be led by the revolution's participants; and freedom of expression "for all the people's forces;" women's equality; rights for the nationalities "to determine how they would live and freedom of ethnic and cultural expression," which will lead to a strengthening of the country's unity.

In conclusion, he added, "we salute the continuing struggles of the progressive clergy led by Imam Khomeini and Ayatollah Taleqani," along with all the other progressive forces in Iran. And, finally, "In the name of the OIPFG, we salute the memory of the PFLP's martyrs, the memory of Martyr Guevara of Gaza, and all his heroic comrades, and we pledge to you to continue the revolution until it achieves all its ends in building a free and democratic Iran and we pledge to you that we will make Iran a firm and true support to all revolutionary and progressive movements in the region and the world."

The next speech is given at Tyre on March 18, "Steadfastness Day," in commemoration of the first Israeli invasion of Lebanon. In his comments on Iran, Dr. Habash introduced his comments on Iran by stating that the Arabs must confront imperialist plans for the region and that "we know how these plans have crystalized clearly in the past weeks in response to the defeat which imperialism has suffered as a result of the Iranian revolution.

What happened in Iran is a great victory for the cause of liberty, the forces of freedom and progress in the world and a great defeat for imperialism and the forces of reaction in the world. The Iranian people have been able, through their patient struggle, and through their militant accumulation which its militant vanguards has achieved in the seventies and even before the seventies, the Iranian masses have been able to smash the agent regime and deliver imperialism a great blow, confounding all its plans.

And so permit me to present, in the name of all the comrades in the PFLP and in the name of all of us at this rally, the warmest greetings to the heroic Iranian people, led by Ayatollah Khomeini, that steadfast leader who took a principled, radical political position when he was in Paris, through which he was able to ruin all the efforts which were being made around him by imperialism and the reactionary forces which were trying to abort the Iranian revolution half-way.

We all know the nature of the mediation and bargaining which imperialism presented Imam Khomeini. The radical, principled position, the value of principled political positions in the concrete historical moment which Ayatollah Khomeini chose when he would say, simply, this regime is illegitimate, we do not recognize it, we will not suffer it to continue, we do not recognize any legitimacy of any government connected with this regime, this position could rally the masses around him through the fall of the Shah and the final fall of the imperial regime and the radical victory of the Iranian people's will. And we must also salute the progressive forces, our comrades of the People's Fedais and the People's Mojahedin and all the nationalist and progressive forces.

Just when imperialism is trying to abort the Iranian revolution through various means, we feel that we must and ought to convey to all nationalist and progressive and revolutionary forces in Iran the hope that the broad front which has rallied different elements together will survive and that the Iranian people might, through the cooperation of all anti-monarchist forces, and through the struggling solidarity despite religious and ideological conflicts between them, win.

Indeed, this solidarity is also good for the continuation of the Iranian revolution, and the most dangerous thing that might happen to the Iranian revolution in this period is that imperialism might succeed in escalating the tensions and contradictions between the nationalist and progressive forces.

This front, when it can pose a national-democratic minimum program, can guarantee that the Iranian revolution will continue its victory and continue yielding results.

The article continues, taking up the issue of imperialism's plans for the region in light of the Shah's fall and the re-escalation of imperialist penetration into the region.

The next expression of Dr. Habash's personal views is from an interview held with him at the fourteenth PNC, held in Damascus. At one point, he is asked: "What is your opinion of the Iranian revolution's impact on the Palestinians and the Arabs?" to which he replies, "Despite difficulties which have arisen in the revolution in Iran these days, despite the nature of these difficulties and their causes and the way of dealing with them, the Iranian revolution has done a great thing when it was able, through Iranian struggle and sacrifice, to deal a blow to one of the most haughty reactionary fortresses and was able to bring down a fundamental pillar upon which American imperialsm was leaning in the region.

Iran was an important center for imperialism and the reactionary forces as a whole. Iran's importance is a result of its strategic position in the context of international strategic considerations as well as its being a basic source of energy sources. It is the second-greatest country in terms of the oil reserves upon which American and European imperialism rely.

The defeated Shah, who repressed and oppressed the Iranian masses in the most repulsive way, used Iran's strength and resources in the service of the aims and schemes of imperialism, Zionism, and reaction. The Shah of Iran founded a vast army and armed it with the most modern kind of weapons to play the role assigned him in the service of imperialist interests and against the national liberation movements and the nationalist and progressive governments, and he turned Iranian territory into a base for American imperialism, a military base and a spy base against the Soviet Union.

Another important issue is that Iran not only occupied an important economic and military position for American imperialism, but that it was also important for the international Zionist movement. The Zionist government chose Iran as a base for itself and relied upon Iranian oil to not a small degree, and many companies exploited it, just as there was reliable cooperation between its apparatus, Shin Bet, and SAVAK in Iran on every level. The Iranian government announced recently that there had been loans of millions of dollars to the Zionist entity's government.

As specifically regards the impact of the fall of the imperial regime and the rise of the Iranian revolution on the Palestinian and Arab levels, I believe that this impact is very clearly a positive one. The Iranian revolution has posed an anti-imperialist and anti-Zionist line and talks of preparing itself to support the Palestinian revolution in its struggle to completely free the Palestinian homeland. The Iranian revolution's line will relect itself in the struggles which our Palestinian people and the masses of the Arab world will launch, but future work with the revolution in Iran will depend strongly on the program which it will pose to concord in practice its domestic and foreign policies.

For the Iranian revolution faces many difficulties, and the program which it will pose to solve the difficulties which face it and will face it in the future are what will determine its future activity and its future role.

American imperialism and the reactionary forces are still acting against the Iranian revolution with all the ways and means at their disposal, and so the revolution must deepen its anti-imperialist line and resolutely set up a new progressive society on the ruins of the old regime which was brought down under the blows of the Iranian masses.

Thus, there is the problem of the national minorities and the need to solve it on a progressive basis soon, and there are the social and economic difficulties which are appearing and there is the case of a democratic life which would please Iranian society after long years of oppression and repression and intimidation and the expropriation of freedom and democracy.

There remains one important point which should be emphasized, and that is the need to preserve the broad national front which overthrew the Shah, since imperialism's machinations have been trying to exploit the differences within the broad national front to crush the revolution and overthrow it.

The next time Dr. Habash takes the issue up, it is at the end of an interview published in the issue of June 23, 1979, p. 7. in response to the question, "What is your position on the future of the events in Iran in light of the differentiation which is taking place inside the Iranian govenment?" to which he replies, "It is entirely natural that any revolutionary government in Iran would face numerous problems at first, since it would be unbelievable that an imperialist fortress such as the Shah's could be overthrown and that imperialism would simply resign itself to it. The Iranian revolution has faced from the first moment and still faces the machinations of imperialism and reaction to overthrow this revolution and restore the imperialist agents to power. On the other hand, there are natural conflicts which we have expected and expect within the ranks of the revolution itself. So it is entirely natural that after the overthrow of the Shah and the regime he ruled that a set of contradictions would appear. Doubtless, our brothers in the Iranian revolution will work together and discover the laws which will resolve these contradictions and implement them. The Iranian position on American imperialism and Zionism is one of clear opposition to them and to Sadat and his policy, it is a revolutionary position which has won the Iranian revolution high praise. At the same time, our hope, as the Palestinian revolution allied with the Iranian revolution, is that it might be possible for this allied revolution to break out of its contradictions and conflicts and find sound solutions for all these conflicts, and so we warn it of future imperialist and Zionist conspiracies and express our readiness to supprt it with all available means so that it is might continue and we hope for all revolutionary and nationalist and democratic forces in Iran that they unite their ranks in this stage so that they might overcome these natural labor pains."

The next such expression appears in the issue of July 7, 1979, p. 17. in the course of an interview with a Libyan magazine, Shawra during a Palestine-Libyan summit. In response to the question, "What is the stage the Arab world is passing through with the advent of the Iranian revolution?" he replies, "From the point of view of implementing these plans, they have escalated particularly after the Iranian revolution and its success as a powerful, violent blow to imperialist interests in the Middle East, to the extent that the Iranian revolution has important indications of being a threat to the remnants of reaction's fortifications in the region, and so we see an escalation of events after the Iranian earthquake. Just after the events in Iran, we saw squadrons of aircraft being dispatched to support Saudi Arabia, we saw the aircraft carrier Constellation head for the Red Sea, we heard about imperialist measures to send the Fifth Fleet to the Arab Gulf region to support the Sixth fleet in the Mediteranean Sea and the Seventh Fleet in the Indian Ocean. We saw American Defense Minister Brown's visit to Saudi Arabia and Jordan and Egypt, then we saw that Carter himself came and stayed in the region for over a week in order to be assured of the implementation of imperialism's plans and their execution."

The last such expression appears in the issue of October 27, 1979, in the course of an interview with the Lebanese weekly Al-Usbu' al-'Arabi. In response to the question, "Why hasn't Dr. Habash visited Iran yet?" he answers, "I hope the opportunity to visit Iran arises. We consider the Iranian people's revolution to have been the greatest blow to imperialism and Zionism in the region for decades. Any analysis of the Iranian revolution must begin from this fact. This revolution did great damage to American imperialism and so we welcomed it and applauded it. But naturally we have our own perspective about some of the Iranian revolution's policies in this period such as the revolution's position towards the other [sic] leftist forces which participated in overthrowing the Shah's regime. We also have our own perspective on the way it is treating the issue of the national minorities in Iran. We also have our own viewpoint around some statements which were issued by some figures in Iran about Bahrein or the Arab Gulf. But all these perspectives flow from a position of support to the Iranian revolution and from the necessity in this period to note one point precisely, and that is that imperialism is trying to enlist all forces and use all sorts of plans to strike at the Iranian revolution. So one must warn every progressive force, Palestinian or Arab, which has a perspective on the Iranian revolution about the need not to confuse its position, which aims at supporting the revolution, with imperialism's position and perspective, which aims at crushing the Iranian revolution."

Between the Embassy Occupation and the Election of Bani-Sadr as President

In this period, Al-Hadaf's point of view swings back to one of support for the Khomeini current, although not nearly as far as it had during the uprising, but some things remain constant: the support to the Islamic radicals is expressed through support to Bani-Sadr and the call is for unity of the revolutionary forces, although now this unity will be on the terms of the Islamic radicals and not the left's. Moreover, there is a certain discomfort with the hostage-taking. Al-Hadaf never goes in for the Islamic radicals' terminology (nest of spies, etc.), and the magazine often counterposes this act with getting to work on what the revolution was supposed to have been all about as they saw it. (This might be a reflection of Al-Hadaf's apparent interest in Bani-Sadr, who knew what Al-Hadaf never dared to say—that the embassy occupation was aimed primarily at discrediting any government not run directly by the clericalist radicals.) However, there is no doubt that Al-Hadaf greeted the occupation as a way of breaking the log-jam between the conservatives around Bazargan, who were tilting towards the Americans, and the radical current around Khomeini.

1) Al-Hadaf's Coverage

The first article in the period appeared in the issue of November 10, 1979. pp. 38-39. The center of the struggle is now that of "Imam Ayatollah Khomeini's current which is distinguished by its anti-imperialism and anti-Zionism" or "the progressive anti-imperialist and anti-Zionist current which has the vision of implementing radical changes in society in the interest of the Iranian popular masses" versus "the current which opposes this perspective and tries to make itself out to be the boss and participates in preparing the reactionary restoration for which the United States and its agents have been using all means and ways to obtain since the severe blow United States imperialism's strategy received when the Shah's throne fell." Khomeini immediately indicated his support to the occupation of the American embassy, stating, "The Americans expected that we would force our youths to leave the embassy... and that they would surely continue hatching plots against our country. But there was no thought of retreat and let the Americans understand that the revolution continues in Iran." However, Bazargan refrained from announcing a position, although it became clear that he opposed it. This was the beginning of the end of the Bazargan government. Demonstrators mobilized by the students occupying the embassy called on him to resign. Khomeini's son Ahmad declared that "the government's opposition to the occupation of the American embassy means that it is opposed to the people."

Also at issue was Bazargan's meeting with American National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brezinski. Although he insisted that he had had permission from Khomeini to meet with him, and although "[Bazargan's] representative Sadeq Tabatabai said that Imam Khomeini had announced ten days before that Bazargan had been sent to meet with Brezinski," and that he had met with him to protest the Shah's reception in the United States and to try to get the Americans to moderate their hostility towards the revolution. However, Ahmad Khomeini's statement at a press conference—"Imam Khomeini never new that Bazargan met Brezinski"— is accepted as the truth by the author. Bazargan's ministers deserted their cabinet, Health Minister Kazem Sami and Energy Minister Mohammad Ali Eslami, members of JAMA Referred to in the article as "the Islamic party". which had previously taken its distance from Bazargan's policies. However, the article softens its attack on Bazargan by merely calling him "the latest victim of this struggle." And, although the students' demands—for the Americans to send the Shah back and "to re-affirm that Khomeini's way The students use the Marxist-Leninist term "line". It is interesting that the author does not pick up on this. is 'God's way' and that they insist there be no restoration of ties with the United States of America, and that they considered its embassy in Tehran to be an imperialist spy center," a term which Al-Hadaf would not itself pick up; indeed, those whom the Islamic radicals termed as "spies" the article merely calls "employees."

Finally, the article's prognosis is that the struggle between the radical and conciliationist lines "was sped up by this action of occupying the American embassy and taking the hostages. Doubtless, the violence of the struggle will intensify soon, when the time for holding the referendum on the new constitution—it is in the final stages of being drafted—arrives, which will be followed by elections for a president with executive powers and the election of a legislative assembly and then the formation of a permanent government." There will be much struggle, but the Americans have lost their chance to throw the revolution off course. One curious fact is that, for all this, the article ends with a quote from the London Financial Times saying that Ayatollah Shari'atmadari might be a serious dark horse candidate in the long run.

The issue of November 17 contains an analysis Pp. 30-31. on the hostage crisis. Its starts with and maintains as its chief focus Bani-Sadr's proposal to form an international commission to try the Shah. It begins by describing the "war atmosphere" prevailing in Iran. Iran has proposed a tribunal to try the Shah. In addition, "Revolutionary Council member Abol-Hasan Bani-Sadr, in charge of foreign affairs, had Tehran close Iranian air space to the Americans. These two successive measures Both, as we shall see, initiatives of Bani-Sadr. emphasize two things: The firmness of the position that the United States is the enemy of the Iranian people and that the [embassy] operation was not an operation to take the American hostages to intimidate Washington into returning the deposed Shah to be tried in Tehran." This is an odd statement, since the Students following the Imam's Line had been insisting on this long and loud. In this context, the praising of the students' anti-Americanism, then, appears to be, at least in part, a means of the author positioning himself to oppose the students' chief demand, substituting Bani-Sadr's in its place. The article immediately continues:

"For, the return of the deposed Shah to be tried is the demand of the masses, and the Islamic leadership has answered this demand perfectly. But the action, which recently forced the government of Dr. Bazargan to submit its resignation and admit its powerlessness... originally had as its primary objective getting Washington to hand over the Shah to Tehran, and it in fact reflected the Iranian leadership's efforts to confirm its policy of sharp opposition to the United States. So it is not strange that a few days after the American embassy operation... that Bani-Sadr would demand the formation of an international tribunal to investigate the Shah's crimes on the condition that Washington accept the tribunal's results, and this, without demanding the Shah's return, although this is not a retreat from this demand. And so, too, it is not unrealistic that the various political efforts to find a solution which would include the hostage's release would work.

"But the matter is far from simply extraditing the deposed Shah." The article continues that the hostage-taking succeeded in defining America's relations with Iran as hostile, and this is why it received the support of the revolutionary leadership. "But the embassy operation in itself is not a means of confronting the enemy, American imperialism. Confronting imperialism, led by American imperialism, means following a policy of radical change in Iranian society, and does not stop with severing relations." It would be uprooting American interests in Iran which would rally "all Iranian anti-imperialist political forces" as well as such forces in the region as a whole. In any case, the author rushes to emphasize that "naturally, this does not negate the responsibility of all forces in the region opposed to American imperialism to offer the most wide-ranging kinds of support to Iran" just when the Americans are threatening to use their "big stick" to intimidate Iran and "abort the embassy operation as a sign of a Third World people's (and its leadership's)" standing up to the Americans. The article then goes on to discuss American attempts to pressure Iran, including boycotting Iranian oil, and whether Iran had cut the oil off before the Americans declared their boycott or vice versa.

The author's clearest explanation of his take on the hostage crisis is given towards the end of the article: "The embassy operation was a blow to the American efforts to restore the American position in Iran through a 'coexistence' with the Islamic Republic and act to drive out the anti-American current from within it. During the past month alone, American embassy officials encouraged American businessmen to return to Iran and carry out their business under the new circumstances in order to 're-establish the American presence there.' This encouragement had an impact on the efforts to strengthen the Bazargan government's position in the state, and the agreement by this government to renew the importing of spare parts between Iran and American industries. The Carter administration was counting on restoring exports to Iran leading to the protection of the United States' strategic interests in Iran and in the region.

"In September alone, American officials concerned with Iranian affairs emphasized the necessity of restoring reliable relations with Iran, because this is important to our national interests,' and encouraged American businessmen on the basis of the Islamic Republic's having institutionalized itself, 'and Islam is not necessarily a subversive force.' But along came the embassy operation and what it represented a few weeks later, to do away with this gambit and abort all previous efforts. But the Americans have not exhausted their options."

The issue of November 24 carries an article Pp. 32-35 which focuses in more detail on the new lineup of forces in post-Bazargan Iran. Al-Hadaf, having been hoping for so long for a united front within Iran, could not fail to see it in what was, in fact, a veritable unity fever which swept the outspokenly anti-imperialist forces. Thus, the article begins with a meeting between "Revolutionary Council member and Council of Experts head" Ayatollah Montazeri and Bani-Sadr "in charge of economic and foreign affairs" on the one hand, and "the People's Fedain and People's Mojahedin organizations and all the Iranian leftist organizations" on the other. They discussed the latest events, after which "the organizations declared their support for the embassy operation and their appreciation for the measures which the Iranian leadership took during the political confrontation with the United States. The importance of this meeting was reflected when Bani-Sadr announced that because of it, it was likely that an national front would be set up which would include all forces opposed to American imperialism. And when the leftist organizations left, they help up, for the first time since the attacks which had been launched against them, pictures of Imam Khomeini, and posters declaring their support to the latest turn in the course of the Iranian revolution and calling for a confrontation with American imperialism.

"This meeting represents an important step towards the formation of a national front in Iran which would include all anti-imperialist forces which would be the Iranian revolution's protective armor in its political confrontation with the United States." This is particularly important given America's attempts to divide the revolutionary forces.

This same point is returned to at the end of the article, which deals chiefly with the Kurdish issue: "Perhaps the most important development on the level of the confrontation with the United States was Ayatollah Khomeini's statement in which he granted the Kurds complete administrative rights, and this because of his meeting with the government commission charged with studying the problems of Iranian Kurdistan. He said, 'The gallant Kurds never thought for one day of secession, they are the Islamic Republic's border guards and whatever they say about their secessionism is a lie and a slander, indeed, they are firmly with the revolution.'" He then admonished the Kurdish people that "the primary contradiction is with America" and that "the Kurds must realize that any problem with the Iranian government is in the interests of America and anti-Iranian foreigners. Indeed, America is trying to create internal problems for us to be pre-occupied with." Moreover, Kurds should turn "traitors" over to the government and, anyway, "Islam does not distinguish between Persian and Arab and Kurd." But it does between Sunni and Shi'ite, according to the constitution of the Islamic Republic.

This statement, which "gave the Kurdish minority the right to administer its internal affairs and eliminate all forms of political and economic violence" was greeted with truly amazing scenes of political jubilation: "The Kurds answered Khomeini's declaration by pouring into demonstrations in parts of Kurdistan in support and pishmarga fighters participated. Pictures of Khomeini were held up in the demonstrations along side pictures of KDP leaders and other Kurdish leaders. Demonstrators in many Kurdish areas burned American flags in solidarity with the Iranian leadership in their on-going confrontation with the United States." Among other expressions of Kurdish support to "self-administration" were:

In Naqadeh, which had only recently been the scene of bloody confrontations between Kurds and government forces, the Friday Imam sent a telegram in the name of himself and the city's residents to Imam Khomeini, announcing that the Kurdish areas are ready "to defend the Islamic Republic against American imperialism.

In Mahabad, the KDP organized a great celebration in support of Khomeini's statement.

In Oshnuviyeh, the demonstrators carried pictures of Imam Khomeini and burned pictures of American President Carter and the American flag.

In Piranshahr, the demonstrators handed out bouquets of flowers at the military barracks in the city and the demonstrators in Paveh gave flowers to members of the Revolutionary Guards, who lined up in front of their bases in the city to hail the demonstrators, and then the Revolutionary Guards joined the demonstrators and carried pictures of Kurdish political leaders.

With such measures, which were necessary in this context for resolving the problems of the minorities in Iran, the Iranian leadership locked the door on America's plans to exploit these difficulties in Iranian society and abort the revolution.

In fact, the Americans are seen as having few options. All they could do was to embargo oil and play for time. But the American menace is still a sword of Damocles hanging over Iran, as the article approvingly quotes Bani-Sadr.

As for the "Iranian students' occupation of the American Embassy and taking those present in it hostage because of the United States' turning the Shah over to Tehran," it got rid of the Bazargan government on which the Americans were counting, as opposed to the Khomeini current, a current which "demanded action to limit the revolution and took a number of measures, the reaction to which we have seen," refering specificly to Bazargan's meeting with Brzinski, as described in the previous article, adding that Khomeini, too, had denounced the meeting. But now that this has been accomplished, the author does not seem to think it worthwhile insisting on keeping the hostages until the Shah is returned to Tehran:

On the one hand, Tehran announced that it is likely that the remaining hostages [after the Blacks and the women were returned] would be tried for espionage against Iran, and that they would be held until a new government is formed. On the other hand, Bani-Sadr announced that Iran no longer wishes to use the embassy operation to get the Shah extradited immediately as a condition for the hostages' release, and said that what is now being demanded is that Carter agree to the principle of the formation of an international commission to investigate the Shah's crimes, with Iran determining the members of the commission." The author defends this plan, insisting that "This does not mean a retreat before American pressure as much as endowing with their true meaning the embassy occupation, getting rid of Bazargan and tilting the balance towards the radical anti-US imperalist religious current and opening the way for a confrontation with the United States, the Iranian people's chief enemy, as Bani-Sadr said and as Imam Khomeini has repeatedly emphasized.

Indeed, much of the rest of the article is devoted to Bani-Sadr's various measures to confront the Americans, particularly his proposal that Iran break with the dollar and value its trade in terms of a basket of currencies. This proposal was attacked by Radio and Television Minister Sadeq Qotbzadeh, identified as a rightist element in the government, and squashed by Khomeini, showing "an unsteady the balance within the leadership between the radical, anti-imperialist religious current and the rightist religious current since the embassy operation." This posing Bani-Sadr as having enemies on his "right" is useful for bolstering the author's otherwise unconvincing depiction of Bani-Sadr as a radical.

Finally, the article begins with a summary of Iranian history which is worth mentioning. Iran has had many foreign enemies. "The Iranian people resisted the Greek conquerors and the violence of the Roman Legions and embraced Islam and zealously defended justice during the Arab conquest" and faced down the Mongols and the pushed back Timurang and the Ottomans. "In modern times, it fought various treaties which imperialism pushed on their country and foiled the British Baron Reuter's 1889 lottery deal and the foundation of an exports bank. Similarly, it resisted the 1860 treaty which granted concessions to found a rail line, and overturned the tobbaco accord of 1891 which a British company tried to implement." After the collapse of the 1905 revolution in Russia, 300,000 Iranian emigrant workers were expelled from Baku "and began to found the leftist and democratic organizations in Iran. The people struggled for a constitution in 1906, which ceased functioning later under Reza Pahlavi, and the people continued in their struggles against the Qajar government and then Reza Pahlavi. And the world still remembers the democratic organizations' steadfast stand with the Mosaddeq government in 1957 (sic) when he nationalized the British-Iranian Petroleum Company" until he was overthrown and the Shah's power was restored. The people rose again in the great revolution of 1963, in which tens of thousands were martyred. It was then that Ayatollah Khomeini was exiled from the country.

"Throughout the Shah's reign, the clergy faced a violent onslaught and constant warfare to the extent that the Shah never made a speech without defaming them or refering to them with the vilest titles. We mention by way of example that in January 1962 in Kerman, the Shah said, "Black reaction is the ignorant clergy of evil intentions and ignoramuses who have not developed in a thousand years, a thousand times more loathesome than the Red Terrorists!" Two months later, he repeated his attack, and in an immoral way, said in the city of Dezful, "The religious leadership is writhing in its excrement and swarms like maggots in a filthy morass." This sort of speech accounts for the "steadfastness of their struggle against the Shah and the monarchy." These attacks continued to the current year, when the Minister of Information published his January article in Ettela'at against Khomeini, "Iran and Black and Red Imperialism," in which, after attacking "the leftist and democratic forces hurled charges and slander against the person of Khomeini," sparking the religious revolution.

The issue of December 1, 1979, carries another article Pp. 22-23. on the hostage crisis. This article is more sanguine about the hostage-taking. "The Iranian revolution has increased in its determination to resolutely face imperialism and reject any mediation." In particular, it rejects any attempt to bring the issue up before the UN Security Council, it being, according to Khomeini, subservient to the Americans.

As the confrontation with the Americans escalates, "Khomeini declares that he is ready for his country to become a second Vietnam and called on the people to form an army of 20 million." On the other hand, the American forces in the region arrayed against them are listed, along with three options: attacking the oil fields, attacking the refinery at Abadan, and attacking Qom. The first is ruled out because it would damage the Western economies and an attack of such scope could be expected to spark a confrontation with the rest of OPEC, if not the Third World. The second is seen as more likely, since it would "render the revolution economicly impotent"; it is considered unlikely, because Iran could respond by, for example, closing the Straits of Hormuz. "As for attacking the holy city of Qom, this would require having an "American Third Column" in that city to point out the locations where the Iranian revolutionary leadership lives, and it is very hard to imagine who in this closed city would be in such a column, particularly with the recent measures and mass mobilizations."

The issue of December 8 carries three articles on the Iran-American crisis, all focusing on its international aspects ramifications.

The first P. 34. focuses on the Arab world. It notes that the movement towards an American settlement of the Arab-Israeli dispute has ground to a halt "particularly since the American embassy was occupied in Tehran. The Iranian revolution's anti-imperialism has grown greatly in importance and overshadowed other events." The forces involved in the settlement "not the least being Egypt are afraid that the contradictions between Iran's opposition to the Americans and Arab reaction's welcome of them will arouse militant moods among the Arab masses." Although the recent Tunis Arab summit "did not go beyond the minimal program of the Baghdad summit" in opposing Camp David, it did temporarily block the possibility of any further new Camp David style settlements. "The firm Iranian position has been able to create an atmosphere of hostility towards United States policy in most of the countries, and there have been demonstrations in Lebanon, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, India, Pakistan, and the Phillipines," this atmosphere becoming "more violent and perhaps more threatening to American economic interests."

The events in Iran are even seen to play a role in Israel, the latter being a likely staging ground for any American intervention in the former. It is seen as pre-occupying the current leadership and thus relegating Israel's mischief with Egypt to third place, behind the governmental crisis.

However, when it comes down to cases, the article does not give much credit to events in distant Tehran. Thus, the author is cheered by the fact that Sudan and Somalia felt constrained to turn from their pro-Sadat course, although the causes as explained seem to have been disappointment in Western aid and Camp David's results. Again, Oman's repudiation of its "enthusiastic support" for Camp David is explained tentatively as "a cover for the dubious projects it has embarked upon of "Gulf Security" and its call for the formation of an alliance of Gulf reaction under United States auspices." On the positive side, credit is given the PLO's resistance to Israel's attempt to impose an alternative leadership.

It is also significant that, in continuity with the line of the previous articles, the demands of the embassy occupiers are played down, this time to the point of not even being mentioned. More to the point, the article is imbued with the attitude of "what's in it for me?"

The second article P. 40-41. focuses on Iran and the region, too.

The article's take on Iran's domestic political life follows the pattern laid down by the other articles on the hostage crisis: anti-imperialist unity and increase freedom for anti-imperialist organizations. Thus, the article's lead-in remarks that "the people are looking forward to a confrontation with imperialism and Zionism, and everyone, from each ethnic group, religion, and political ideology, is united to prepare for a fight, and the leadership trusts its militant masses." The elections are approaching for the constitution. "The parties and intellectuals discuss it with complete freedom and, despite the multiplicity of beliefs and differences, some of them radical, no one had adopted a policy which might split the domestic national front against imperialism." Later, the article states, "The subject of the elections over the constitution has been and still is what everyone is talking about, and as for the political forces in Iran, some are boycotting in opposition to the constitution, some support the constitution with reservations, and some are fanatical supporters of it.

"The four parties supporting the constitution" are listed as the IRP "led by Ayatollah Beheshti, and which forms the vast majority [of those voting for the constitution?]; JAMA, "a left-Islamic party popular among the students and urban intellectuals;" the Iran Liberation Movement, and the Tudeh Party, although "the last three parties voted for the constitution but had reservations over some articles especially the one pertaining to the Imam's absolute power. But they voted for it out of consideration to the confrontation and seige facing the Iranian revolution and out of respect to Ayatollah Khomeini's history of struggle."

"The leftist and nationalist parties which refused to participate in the elections were the OIPFG, who declared that they would boycott the elections in protest of the new constitution's essence. They rejected the plan for the new constitution for the country because it included some influential religious figures such as Ayatollah Beheshti and Admiral Madani and Hasan Bani-Sadr, Sic. Abol-Hasan Bani-Sadr, for once put in the camp of the enemy. reactionary and unreliable figures." As for the Mojahedin, "they believe that the constitution was drafted after their spiritual leader, Ayatollah Taleqani, died, and that the Assembly of Experts misunderstood what Taleqani meant." As for the Kurdish parties, "they boycotted the elections and rejected the constitution and demanded that an article be insterted supporting autonomy for Kurdistan." Therefore, voting was "extremely light" in the Kurdish regions, and the KDP declared that if the constitution is not modified within nineteen days, they will resume fighting. "The Maoist and Trotskyist parties also boycotted the elections, as did the National Front, the IPRP led by Ayatollah Shari'atmadari, and other parties and organizations," to the number of twenty.

The article concludes,

There are two points regarding the new constitution. The first is that most parties and political forces agree, particularly regarding the article which gives Imam Khomeini absolute power, including determining the leadership of the military or the great judges or declaring war and peace, in addition to the fact that Ayatollah Khomeini has no one to answer to, i.e., he represents the entire government but does not participate in any office. Second, the constitution has no article establishing autonomy for the minority nationalities, and this is what rallied the parties of the minority nationalities with the other parties in the opposition in opposing and boycotting the constitution. But all the parties, despite their differences, are agreed in uniting to struggle against American imperialism and any foreign intervention.

The rest of the article examines the situation on the Arab, Islamic, and broader international level. Interestingly, in the article's first paragraph on the Arab level, the article debunks the idea of "phoney Iranian ambitions" about occupying Bahrein which are used "to stir up public opinion to reject any contact with the Iranian revolution, noting this time that Ayatollah Ruhani's claim was "speedily and officially repudiated by the Iranian leadership." In the meantime, there has been a "deepening of Arab mass agitation, particularly after Iran appealed to the peoples of the region to stand with it against imperialist domination and to fight International Zionism for the sake of Third World national liberation movements, thus pouring oil on the fire. The Gulf states saw mass demonstrations in support of Iran's position and supporting a fight with America and the use of the oil weapon, and the right of the Palestinian people to liberate their land." This radicalization included the Saudi mosque occupation (which Iran, in fact, was shocked by and deeply opposed) and violent demonstrations in Libya. "And so the fire sweeps along, and events accelerate and contacts betwen the Iranian revolution's efforts and those of the Arab public opinion increase, to confront imperialism and Zionism, and the Iranian leadership declared that they would select ten thousand Iranian volunteers to fight Zionist threats in south Lebanon and to work in the ranks of the Palestinian revolution to liberate Palestine."

On the Islamic level, "There has never been a national liberation movement this whole century which has so clearly effected the Islamic peoples and rarely have the masses been so prepared to mobilize and oriented to reject exploitation and domination and subordination to imperialist interests in the region as has the Iranian revolution, and all previous religious appeals have been to strengthen imperialist influence and in the service of the Eisenhower doctrine with the old imperialist argument of fighting Communism. What is happening now is what Western political observers call an Islamic awakening in the region." The article continues, "The demonstrations in Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, and the Phillipines clearly indicate that these exploited and abased people have determined who their first enemy is, and it is imperialism, and they are able to unite to fight this enemy."

On the international front, Carter is facing increasing difficulties with his allies. France and Italy refuse to cooperate in freezing Iranian assets. Spain and Portugal refuse to allow their American bases to be used as launching grounds for an attack on Iran. Even within the United States, with the Democratic primaries underway, Carter is being challenged by Kennedy on his Iran policy, the latter stating that taking the Shah's side will threaten American interests in the region.

The third article deals in more detail with the contradictions facing America's Iran policy. It sees an increasing likelihood of an American attack on Iran, thus explaining Carter's decision to withdraw embassy personel from certain hot spots. This intervention would not be so much to free the hostages, but "to abort Iranian activity and its impact, which extends outside Iran." As "one American official" is quoted as saying, Decreasing the number of American officers in the American embassies in these countries is also aimed at decreasing the number of targets for revenge on the Americans if the Carter administration decides on taking military or economic revenge on Iran and its leadership."

In any case, thousands of Americans are leaving the Gulf states, anxiety being particularly acute over the approaching month of Moharram. On the other hand, it is intensifying its military presence as a means of intimidating Iran, although in the article's estimation, the Pentagon, having studied its options, has concluded for the time being that the risks are not worth taking.

American goals in the region are described as five-fold: 1) Free the hostages, not out of humanitarianism, but to demonstrate American power. 2) End the embassy occupation, it having made American embassies targets of anti-American demonstrations throughout the region. 3) Not to turn over the Shah, again, not for humanitarian reasons, but because it would set a bad precedent and discredit America's ability to protect its agents. 4) To safeguard the world economic order, in particular, keeping the oil flowing and keeping Iran from responding to its assets being frozen. 5) To keep the Iranian example from spreading. However, the only result has been for the United States government to be humiliated and discredited in the eyes of its own people, just as in Vietnam. And all Carter's threats against the revolution's leadership simply strengthens its popularity among the masses. Some political leaders want "to teach Iran a lesson" and force Iran to release the hostages, but they must answer questions about the impact of such a course on the flow of oil, the stability of America's allies, and the ability to contain a likely explosion of rage in the Muslim world.

It is such political considerations which explain Western Europe's concern to keep the Americans from doing anything rash. They stand to lose the most from a cut-off of the flow of oil and they are afraid of being forced to share the cost of an American miscalculation. On the other hand, Al-Hadaf, long an opponent of European plans to negotiate an unsatisfactory compromise for the Palestinians, is anxious not to give too much credit to the Europeans on Iran. The article quotes American sources as saying that at least some Europeans have been participating in America's military plotting against Iran, despite official denials. Moreover, the European press has been largely complicit in the campaign against the Iranian revolution and its leadership. Finally, European diplomats see themselves as a sort of back channel through which the Americans could communicate with Iran, and that it is in America's interests to keep this back channel open.

The issue of December 15 carries two articles on Iran.

The first P. 44. is on the rebellion in Tabriz led by the followers of Ayatollah Shari'atmadari against the central government. It is reported with a predictable lack of sympathy as a "domestic break in the ranks" and a diversion of the revolution from its primary tasks. Shari'atmadari's It is perhaps significant that, although other religious leaders are refered to by their titles, Ayatollah Shari'atmadari is not, effectively defrocking him. "dubious party" is trying to "spark a civil war." It began because Shari'atmadari, who has more than once called for the release of the hostages while Khomeini and the students have even rejected mediation, was openly trying to "normalize" the revolutionary atmospere, and "ridiculed and stood up to the Council of the Revolution," saw his house in Qom stormed by "the enraged masses." This led to a crisis in Tabriz, where Shari'atmadari's party, the Islamic People's Republican Party, organized a general strike, and rapidly took over the city, including the electronic media, and demanded autonomy and an end to "the Khomeini dictatorship." The article notes that "few compatriots answered then renegades' call; indeed, all the Iranian leftist parties, including the Fedais, the Mojahedin, and the Tudeh, announced their opposition" to them. "These organizations issued statements condemning Shari'atmadari and his party, accusing them of being a thousand times more reactionary that the substitute constitution they are demanding, and they condemned the strike organizers, accusing them of "being defenders of the big capitalists and foreign agents."

In the end, Khomeini mobilized the Revolutionary Guards to retake the city, starting with the radio and television stations. The article casts doubt on whether "the renegades" really had the support of the masses. Quoting one "foreign correspondent," Shari'atmadari's demonstrators didn't number over 20,000 our of a city of well over a million. Finance minister Bani-Sadr headed up a commission to look into the events, which included Hojjat ol-Eslam Mahdavi-Kani and Ezzatollah Sahabi, The former was one of the less radical members of the IRP; the latter was a more or less leftist associate of Bazargan. whose negative conclusion was nonetheless forgone. Shari'atmadari's quarrels with Khomeini are totted up: he called for a constitutional monarchy to the very end and only very belatedly jumped on Khomeini's bandwagon, "but with constant complaints and criticisms," for example, over the Revolutionary Council (which he turned his back on out of spite for its not giving him sufficient recognition), "against the referendum for the Islamic Republic, against the constitution, against the Assembly of Experts, against the hostage-taking, against any new measure taken through Ayatollah Khomeini's rulership. And so Ayatollah Shari'atmadari was oriented towards aborting any revolutionary development in Iran."

The second article P. 45. focuses on America's military build-up. Washington's confrontation with Tehran has diverted attention away from a broader build-up against a wave of troubles expected to sweep the Islamic world. Washington's chummy relations with the Saudis, Turkey, and Pakistan have been put under "pressure from the Islamic revolution in Iran and its anti-US character, which will force the governments ruling these countries to reassess their ties with Washigton in the light of their interest in self-preservation." Moreover, "the "peace negotiations" will face a new obstacle, probably an insurmountable one, and hopes in involving Jordan in broadening the talks between Egypt and Israel in the near future, with implicit Saudi support, have begun to fizzle, with the rise of so-called Islamic radicalism." On the other hand, the Vietnam syndrome has ended, In no small measure due to the hostage crisis. and American public opinion is more inclined to support interventionist policies than ever. It was in this period that idea for the Rapid Deployment Force was introduced and the CIA's powers were restored, both being mentioned in this article.

Of the Americans' regional allies, only the Saudis are given much attention. Their response is to slow down the pace of industrialization and press the Americans for supporting them against Iran in the name of "preventing the Soviets from exploiting the situation." It is an interesting turn-around either in objective events or in Al-Hadaf's appreciation of the Iranian revolution that this is the only mention the Soviets rate in the whole article.

The issue of December 29 includes an article Pp. 36-37. on the crisis which focuses on 1) America's call for sanctions against Iran, 2) the Iranian's demands and reactions to America's call for sanctions against their country, and 3) America's difficulties with whipping their allies into line. The article, perhaps understandably, drives its implicit criticisms of the "embassy operation" far into the background, and the issue of the Shah's extradition moves to center-stage. Nor is there any mention of Bani-Sadr's attempted end-run around the issue; instead, he is now hurling bold challenges against American imperialism. However, the article has not adopted a hezbollahi stance; for example, when Khomeini is quoted a refering to the embassy as the "den of spies," the article re-translates this expression into "embassy."

The article is led in with the observation that the Americans' efforts to escape from the hostage crisis by packing the Shah off to Panama failed, as the students press their demand, now seen as an important demand which escaped an American attempt to "abort" it. Its first paragraph reports that "Imam Khomeini declared that the release of the hostages in Tehran depended on the Shah's being turned over to Iran," adding that "The period of power diplomacy is over, the world has changed these past 30 years and peoples have begun to wake up and free themselves from imperialist domination." Indeed, it now conflates the idea—attributed now to Foreign Minister Sadeq Qotbzadeh—of a Bertrand Russell-style trial with Khomeini's call for the trial of the hostages on charges of espionage in order to illustrate America's crimes against Iran since the CIA-backed coup of 1953, although, of course, the former's proposal was designed to avoid just such an eventuality.

The Americans, in the mean time, are exerting mounting pressure on Iran, threatening to take its case to the United Nations and appeal for a blockade or economic sanctions, sending its own battleships to the Gulf, etc. The issue involved, still, is "not only to get the hostages released without returning the Shah, but also to deal a blow to the Iranian leadership, as part of its ongoing effort to destabilize Iran and bring it back into their sphere of influence."

A major obstacle is America's European and Japanese allies' reluctance to play along. This theme is treated more positively here than in the previous article. There is some sense of satisfaction in the tone in the article's dwelling on the Carter administration's frustration over its European and Japanese allies' tardy and slack response to its appeals. And this division is now seen to be more substantial, there is no attempt to discover some more sinister reality beneath it. As an example of this, in the previous article on the matter, published on p. 44 of the issue of December 8, it is the authoritative and objective "some diplomats" who consider continuing diplomatic contacts with Iran to be in the best interests of the Americans. In this article, though, it is Cyrus Vance, America's Foreign Minister, who is shown to be trying to put the best face on America's failure to impose a boycott of Iran who is making this claim. And the Iranians are congradulated "not only for taking advantage of this differentiation in the United States' allies' responses, but in being able to divide the policies, and so be able to confront the American seige."

The article closes in quoting three Iranian ministers—including Bani-Sadr—on their steadfastness and the ability of Iran to confront the American seige.

The issue of January 12, 1980, includes an article P. 41. on Iranian steadfastness and American impotence. The Americans are not likely to push the UN to enforce sanctions on Iran and have failed to intimidate Iran through military pressure, and are being ridiculed in Iran. Their Europeans and Japanese allies are refusing to reduce the level of their trade with Iran, and, quoting US News and World Report, Iran is threatening to resort to increased reliance on the Soviets in the event of a naval blockade enforced by the West.

The issue of January 19 carries another article Pp. 36-37. along the same lines, this time extending its "bi-polar" analysis of the confrontation between Tehran and Washington to the extent of obliquely attacking the Iranian opposition, the manipulation of which is seen as Washington's only remaining option. As the article's introduction puts it, "All indications point to one eventuality, an escalation of the level of violence of America's attack on Iran, from without and within, particularly after Washington failed to to impose its resolution calling for economic sanctions against Iran in the United Nations. America's public reaction to this defeat, behind which stood the Soviet veto, was to announce its determination to escalate the economic blockade and impose a tight naval blockade of Iran. As for America's nonpublic reaction, the Iranian revolution senses daily the United States' efforts to set off a conflagration from within, doing its utmost to play upon the Iranian front's weak points."

The article continues in detailing the usual list of Washington's failures in imposing a boycott of Iran and the meager results achieved so far. In fact, the article concludes, these efforts are now "nothing but a cover for America's true current position, America's secret activities inside Iran. What is more dangerous to the Iranian revolution against American imperialism than American or international economic sanctions is counter-revolutionary activities inside Iran, in view of the forces of the old agent and deposed regime's efforts to take advantage of the activity of the minorities which have nationalist rights and demands and the effort to divert this activity and turn it into a weapon against the source of the Iranian revolution. Imam Ayatollah Khomeini warned of this danger when he recently declared that the enemy is trying to explode Iran from within. Western propaganda discusses, in a spirit of anticipation, the Turkman, Kurdish, and Baluch minorities and clearly point out that this activity is "a challenge" and "a very pressing issue" for the Iranian leadership. In the midst of this hue and cry about America's plans for economic sanctions, it is this which reflects the current possibility for the American enemy to strike at the Iranian revolution."

Finally, on the issue of the Iranian demands for the hostage release, "foreign affairs official Sadeq Qotbzadeh" presented three demands to UN General Secretary Kurt Waldheim: 1) form an international commission to investigate the ex-Shah's crimes, 2) return the wealth the royal family took from Iran, and 3) "that the UN recognize Iran's right to demand that the Shah be turned over to it," commenting that "Qotbzadeh was anxious to demonstrate that the formation of a commission of inquiry was not sufficient in and of itself to end America's hostage crisis," although this comment still falls far short of an endorsement of the position of the students occupying the embassy and that of the Islamic radicals.

The issue of January 26 carries an article Pp. 34-35. on the anniversary of the Shah's leaving Iran which consists of a critical view of Bani-Sadr's economic program for Iran, although accepting certain of its premises. "Islamic economics, as envisioned by its theoretician, Bani-Sadr, has not solved the fundamental problems, such as that of the stopping of light industry or the expansion of agriculture or providing for the masses' basic needs or [copy illegible]" Monarchist Iran's over-dependence on oil income and the Shah's love for prestige projects in the non-oil industrial sector come in for attack. The Shah's ambitions here are blamed for the massive presence of foreign advisors and spare parts and trying to compete in the world economy with Western and Japanese goods.

The revolution was faced with the accumulation of such problems, and "Economic and Trade Minister Bani-Sadr" emphasized the following program of Islamic economics: "Limit industrial dependence on foreigners; liquidate the prestige projects and prioritize social programs and the countriside; encourage small production units; and social self-sufficiency in food." This program, in turn, comes under criticism as unrealistic. "There are many questions here about the possibility of achieving these principles. Thus, ending the use of industry in the country not only cannot achieve everything by itself, not to mention without a reliance upon foreign experts and technicians and spare parts. So, how can self-sufficiency in food be achieved without an adequate growth of agricultural production and with a crushing increase in population, which has reached to over a million and a quarter per year?"

The article blames the Shah for the desication of thousands of hectares of formerly arible land and ruining Iranian herding by abandoning natural stock and buying imported animal food, leading to "about a million" farmers abandoning the countriside for the city and a soaring food imports bill. A year after the revolution, food imports declined, although food dependence is still great. This is a particularly important issue given the food embargo of Iran; a large majority of Iran's food used to be imported from America, and America has recognized the food weapon as its most powerful. Since the embargo, Iran has been able to line up adequate alternate sources, however.

The article next contrasts the consumer (as opposed to capital) goods sector under the monarchy with the new government's record after one year. The article complains that under the Shah, this was dominated by foreign capital or had sectors monopolized by a very small number of families. After the revolution, construction came to a complete standstill, except for some repairs by individuals and construction for the government. The government also ended massive contracts which had been closed with foreign corporations, such as the $11 billion Tehran subway project which France had the contract for, in addition to a project to construct Shahestan, a city to have rivaled Brazilia. It is also taking steps in consumer banking, to extend interest-free loans, prioritizing agricultural development.

In terms of military contracts, under the Shah, Iran had been the Third World's leading arms consumer, even surpassing First-World Britain. It now spends absolutely nothing on military contracts, and is even contemplating selling off some of its military hardware.

On the Iranian working class under the Shah, the main feature the article notes is that "hundreds" of them had to go for work to the Gulf, "and this emmigraion was considered by the Shah to be a sort of strategy" by which he would both reduce the problem of unemployment, which, according to the then-Shah's minister of labor, had reached to a quarter of the work force, and "have the Iranian workers play a political role in the service of the expansionist empire of those days.

The new government, "despite implementing reforms, which the revolution has chosen to relieve this unemployment, remains so far incapable of fulfilling all its promises, especially in light of how unsettled its economic plans are." Rather optimisticly, the article adds, however, that "the shanty towns are beginning to shrink and social solidarity has begun to provide, too, and the revolution has much concern for the working class, but it cannot act on all of what it has promised, and all the projects which Abol-Hasan Bani-Sadr mentioned regarding transering a large portion of the working class in the cities to the countryside to work in the fields has not yet succeeded in absorbing unemployment." It also raises the question of whether the countriside could absorb many people, at least without a radical reorganization.

A second article on the same theme appears in the issue of February 2, 1980. Pp. 32-33. It addresses the political changes the country has undergone in the previous year. The introduction to the article, reflecting the current thinking of Al-Hadaf, concludes "Today, now that a year has passed since the Shah has fled, the Iranian revolution finds itself in a state of confrontation with the United States and its puppets from within and without, in which the danger increases as long as there remain fissures in the domestic front, resulting in enfeebling clashes."

The review of the Shah's flight itself is unremarkable: in order to keep Iran within America's sphere of influence, it had to abandon the Shah and throw its support behind Bakhtiar, "advising" the Shah to leave. "The masses, due to their ties with their leadership, exemplified by Imam Ayatollah Khomeini," who presciently understood this to be not victory, but a first step, continued the struggle. Bakhtiar threatened "me or a coup," even civil war, and unleashed bloody repression against the people, but it was the army which was disintegrating. The forces of the revolution, both the left and the religious opposition, fought side-by-side. "The importance of this phenomenon's continuing and evolving was not a priority for the new religious leadership."

The Americans did not abandon the instrument of civil war during Bazargan's time. "This is particularly to be expected in light of the lack of the development of an alliance of all the forces against American imperialism and foreign hegemony and Zionism. The rightist forces came out of their temporary hiding places and resumed fortifying their positions in order to divert the revolution from its course." Thus Bazargan complained about "not being able to steer the ship of state Westward; although, he was in fact orienting towards relations with the United States and avoiding not [?] having relations with it, but repressing the movement of the national minorities" and reconstructing the army along its old lines. His meeting with Brezinski was followed by "the Iranian students' occupation of the American embassy and seizing the personel therein as hostages to pressure Washington to surrender the Shah. The occupation of the American embassy in Tehran sparked the political confrontation between the Iranian revolution and the United States. The escalation of the struggle against American imperialism weakened the rightist forces' power. [Bazargan's] resignation transfered power officially to the Islamic Revolutionary Council which was dominated by the current opposed to American imperialism and Zionism, led by Imam Khomeini." Again, the lack of the Islamic radicals' jargon in describing the embassy and its personel should be noted, as well as its apparent lack of interest in the specific demands the students were raising, as opposed to the objective consequences of their occupation.

But the counter-revolution still stalked Iran. "The troubles witnessed in the areas in which the minorities lived are an excellent example of this. This is the first place in which the fissure with the counter-revolution could use to explode the situation from within, through exploiting the activity which is not essentially counter-revolutionary, but rather raises just demands, wanting the just slogans which the revolution raised to be fulfilled." The article then presents statistics about "the four ethnic minorities," i.e., the Turks, the Kurds, the Arabs, and the Baluchis, explaining that, in addition to the usual suffering Iranians as a whole had to endure under the Shah, they suffered ethnic oppression. The article defends this movement, arguing that they are not secessionists, "despite the repression which was used against them even after the Shah's regime fell. A solution to the problem of these nationalities, despite its urgency and despite the fact that no one fails to notice that American imperialism has tried to exploit this issue for its own ends, to excuse a blow against the Iranian revolution, and abort it" remains unachieved. The article goes on to report that "the movements which represent the minorities' demands" have announced a boycott of the presidential elections "in the midst of this battle [against imperialism], to put pressure on Tehran." The article considers it a good sign that "Imam Khomeini announced his agreement to amend the constitution to satisfy the Turkmen and Baluchi minorities, this probably being the first fruit of former Foreign Minister Ebrahim Yazdi to the minorities' regions to study their demands" and report back to Khomeini, thus defusing "some time bombs which the counter-revolution could have detonated when it wanted to, particularly now that Iran is in a confrontation with the United States. Thus, the confrontation with American imperialism strengthens the urgent character which marks the issue of the minorities, and demands a solution to the urgent problem in a way which would strengthen the domestic front's cohesiveness. This confrontation also demands a broadening of the popular and religious opposition to American imperialism through the formation of a national front which would include all forces opposing the United States." Although this had been announced when the confrontation began, it has yet to materialize.

This issue also includes an article Pp. 34-35. greeting Bani-Sadr's election to the Presidency of Iran. Reading it gives some insight into what Al-Hadaf saw in him. This former elementary school teacher from Hamadan went to study in France and frequented the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, whom he told he would be the first president of an Islamic republic in Iran, a distinction he won with 75% of the votes. His runners-up were Admiral Madani, Hasan Habibi, and Sadeq Qotbzadeh, the latter not even receiving 1% of the vote.

While in Paris, "he became aquainted with Western society and adopted many left-liberal ideas." He was an admirer of "his professor, Ali Shari'ati, who mixed Islamic ideas and the ideas of Jamal od-Din Afghani with influences from the French left in developing his particular understanding of economics, which he expressed in his books, Tawhidi Economics and Oil and Power and, later, he participated in writing Oil and Violence with the French professor Paul Vieille," a former professor at Tehran University who collaborated with the Iranian opposition. They would later collaborate in advising Ayatollah Khomeini when he was in Paris. "He never organized or joined any party or organization, like "Dr. Beheshti's IRP, so that he could be, as he said, a unifier of parties and group them together in a united front." He was aquainted "with the particulars of Western society and how to influence public opinion there, and so his simple liberalism could make him acceptable to Europeans. An example of this was when the Foreign Ministry assigned him to resolve he hostage crisis, and he was able to present the crisis in a way Europeans could relate to it, and so neutralize the effects of American propaganda."

The article continues, associating Bani-Sadr with Ayatollah Khomeini, Ayatollah Taleqani, and Mohammad Mosaddeq, along with the latter's policy of "balancing between East and West." He "enjoys a vast popularity and acceptance among all organizations," he "was a zealous fighter against the Shah's rule," he "formed the Movement of the Militant Clergy, which led the fight against the imperial system." His candidacy enjoyed the support of the Organization of Woman Militants led by A'zam Taleqani and the Confederation of Iranian Students, as well as broad support of the leftist intellectuals, economists, "and even elements of the IRP and people close to Ayatollah Khomeini," this implicitly recognizing what Al-Hadaf did not want to spell out: that Bani-Sadr and Khomeini in fact had antagonistic perspectives. He "had great support from nationalist forces, since he always called for the formation of a broad national front which would include all nationalist forces without excepting any political force because of its inclination or ideas. Bani-Sadr has explained more than once that he is opposed to the idea of a single party, but is for a plurality of parties in a single national front."

Bani-Sadr believes that the constitution needs amending, particularly on the issue of the principle of the rule of "the faqih, i.e., the religious and political authority," wanting to add the condition that "he would rule as long as the people were satisfied with him and that he be elected by the people, and that he be knowledgeable, just," etc., and that "he rule in the name of the people and not be imposed upon them." He also wants the president to be the sole executive power "so that there not be two governments in one country." This is considered "a protest against the hostage-taking students." He also wanted some of his ideas on Islamic economics included in the constitution. Finally, he wanted "the Islamic constitution to include the term autonomy for the national minorities." Along with this, he wanted to broaden the official religion of Iran from Shi'ism because of the Sunni Kurdish, Turkmen, and Baluchi minorities. The article comments that such reforms "would require a violent struggle with the Assembly of Experts, a group of fanatical religious leaders."

The article concludes with a reiteration of his economic program of replacing the Shah's emphasis on mega-projects which reenforce dependency with an "the development of an independent, natural Iranian economy" based on small production units encouraged by the government. He would also nationalize viable large industries and rationalize them from being different branches of different foreign companies to single branches of an Iranian industry. He would orient the economy to agriculture, revive hydroelectric projects and traditional irrigation methods which had been left to decay under the Shah and fight against Iran's dependency on imported food. In foreign affairs, Iran should actively pursue an anti-imperialist and anti-Zionist policy "emphasizing the importance of Islam and considering it an anti-imperialist and anti-Zionist weapon," with particular emphasis on the case of Palestine, seeing Israel as "a cancer in the Islamic body."

Finally, the article is accompanied by a small box reporting that Bakhtiar's supporters have been allowed to set up a transmitter in Egypt, as if to emphasize the unity of the two revolutions' common enemies.

It should be mentioned here that Bani-Sadr, not being a member of any power center, had to try to cobble together a coalition of clients, if not comrades. Thus, he lent the columns of his paper, Enqelab-e Eslami to a variety of political forces, from conservatives like Ayatollah Shari'atmadari and Admiral Madani to Professor Reza Esfehani, champion of radical land reform, Sheikh Mohammad Montazeri, Qaddafi's madcap Iranian admirer, the friends and family of Ali Shari'ati, etc. This coalition would later include such disparate elements as members of the military leadership See the interview with General Shakeri, "By the Imam's command, the army has been revivied." p. 1, Enqelab-e Eslami, Mordad 25, 1958. It relentlessly cheered on the government's August offensive into Iranian Kurdistan. and "doves" on the Kurdish war. E.g., editorial, September 1, 1979, entitled, "One must trust the Kurds," or Bani-Sadr's comment when visiting pacified Sanandaj that he was "not in principle against autonomy." What they had in common was that they were more or less on the outs with the forces around Ayatollah Beheshti and the Islamic Republican Party, and Bani-Sadr cultivated them in the pages of his paper.

This made for interesting reading, although the paper's editorial policy was filled with the grossest demagogy. In the following two examples, notice how elaborately he balances consituencies while framing his criticisms. Commenting on the street violence which was breaking out against the left in August 1979, his daily editorialized. These violent elements figure "that since the Shah [represented] no more than a minority, why couldn't they themselves take power through provocations and intrigues. Apparently, they have figured that if they play the role of provocateurs and trouble-makers, public opinion will be mobilized against them and they will be repressed, but the people will gradually despair of the administration and the ground will be prepared for them to seize power.

"So they base themselves on lies, provocations, a war of nerves, plots to discredit the government and the Imam's leadership. For example:

"Posing as Muslim fanatics, they attack papers and meetings of so-called leftist forces. When arrested and investigated, they are found to be members of these same so-called forces." Editorial, Enqelab-e Eslami, Mordad 16, 1979.

Or, commenting on the closing of the liberal daily Ayandegan, he declares, "It is an amazing thing about our revolution that there is absolutely no limit on publishing newspapers. Those who support so-called democracy, how much have they tried to turn the newspapers into threats to freedom and threats to the revolution itself, and when have they protested against the destructive manners of the newpapers? does freedom mean one autocratic side might make up whatever it wants and provoke as much as it wants and prevent the establishment of any sort of stability? Why have these newspapers:

"Been turned into rumor mills? Why are all their rumors oriented towards one pursuit, that being to discredit the revolution's leadership?" Editorial, 20 Mordad, 1958.

Bani-Sadr's paper's Palestine policy was heavily tilted towards the mainstream Fath organization, for obvious reasons, but Habash did recieve some coverage. In late 1979, a message of greetings sent from him to Khomeini is partly translated and partly summarized. Azar 14, 1353. Early the next year, an interview conducted by this daily with him is published as part of a series on the fighting forces in Lebanon, under the stern notice that "It is necessary to note that choosing these figures and groups in no way indicates either support or rejection." The questions are neutral ones about what possible solution there might be to the Lebanon crisis. Khordad 29, 1359. (Although a continuation of the interview is promised, we have not succeeded in finding the remainder of it.)

2) Al-Hadaf Editorials and Dr. Habash's Views

In the issue of December 1, 1979, three weeks into the hostage crisis, Al-Hadaf ran an editorial P. 3. titled, "Full Support to the Iranian Revolution in Its Struggle against American Imperialism." After opening by remarking that the Americans are trying to retain their hold on the Gulf, although the Iranian revolution and disturbances in Saudi Arabia show that things are not going their way, the second paragraph says:

"Imperialism suffered a grievous blow from the Iranian revolution and its repercussions in the Gulf region and the arrival of a spirit of change which followed it in the Gulf region in particular and the Arab and the Islamic world as a whole." The Americans are chiefly afraid that this will lead to the use of the oil weapon, "and this leads it to increasing its policies of conspiracies and maneuvers to protect its interests," sending dozens of ships to the Iranian coast and "hinting at using force to free the hostages from the American embassy and their not agreeing to surrender the Shah to the Iranian revolution and forcing it to surrender to imperialism's conditions. But the Iranian revolution and its determination is reflected in its leadership's not retreating from its principled and just positions due to any military threats or intimidation, even if it comes from America itself, and relies on rallying the Iranian people around it and setting up a coalition with all progressive forces and opening the door to negotiations with the minorities and the response of these forces and these minorities by complying with the principle of negotiations with the Iranian leadership, when it raises the slogan, "All guns facing America" in order to strengthen the confrontation with the American enemy, which is trying to regain its position which had been damaged by the Shah's fall. From this perspective, the Americans are trying with all their resources and means to support the rotten reactionary regimes in the Gulf region, particularly the reactionary Saudi regime, which is living in a state of political turmoil after the events in the Haram," which, the editorial maintains, was not a purely religious revolt, but a political one.

This crisis "in the Arab Gulf requires from all progressive, nationalistic, and popular-democratic forces, and from the nationalist and progressive governments, a declaration of unlimited support to the Iranian revolution's stand against America and economic and political measures to strangle American imperialism, and as a start, let the nationalist governments which can deploy the Arab oil weapon in the on-going battle with imperialism." It emphasizes that it is particularly addressing the "progressive governments" and urges them not to compromise, since only reaction will benefit from this.

The editorial concludes:

Intensifying these policies of steadfastness and confrontation against the Zionist enemy by the progressive governments must be accompanied by a policy of intensification of anti-imperialism by them. The Iranian revolution has provided a revolutionary example of anti-imperialism. It presents a unique example to the struggling people of steadfastness and a radicalization of its anti-imperialism.

At the same time as the Iranian revolution is escalating its opposition to American imperialism, it has our support and that of all nationalistic and progressive-democratic forces which are for increased steadfastness towards imperialism and an increased radicalization of the struggle against it, for it is direct steadfastness towards American imperialism, which means steadfastness towards its hostile base in the region, 'Israel,' which means at the same time opening the way for the Arab masses to increasing their struggle to shake the reactionary establishment and destroy the imperialist-Zionist-reactionary alliance in the region.

The same issue carries the text of the following telegram to Khomeini: P. 7.

His Honorable Beneficence Imam Ayatollah Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini:

Militant collective greetings.

During these very days in which your heroic Iranian people and your wise leadership are taking a courageous and heroic stand against the mightiest imperialist fortress representing American imperialism, I only wish to convey to you in the name of the Central Committee and in the name of all the fighters and militants of the PFLP tokens of admiration thus conveying our unlimited solidarity with your courageous stand.

International imperialism led by American imperialism has suffered a grevious blow in the victory of your revolution and the overthrow of the Shah, who had committed many inhuman crimes against the Iranian people, this Shah who is now trying to use the wealth which he looted to place obstacles in the way of your country's and people's prosperity and the social progress. This Shah's extradition and trial before a court of the Iranian people would doubtless serve as a lesson to all imperialist agents and lackeys.

Similarly, your appeal for a sacred jihad against American imperialism, which supported the Shah and supports the Zionist entity with all means, this appeal is greeted and supported by us completely. And we of the Palestinian revolution, steadfast opponents of imperialism and its puppets in the region, will stay in our trenches facing the Carter-Begin-Sadat alliance until our Palestinian people achieves its aims of liberation and return to its stolen homeland, Palestine.

We of the Palestinian revolution laud your using the oil weapon and withdrawing wealth, since this weapon is powerful in confronting American imperialism and deepens the crisis in its exploitative economic system.

We are with you and we encourage you to raise the idea of a holy jihad against American imperialist interests in the region, against the usurping Zionist entity, and to liberate noble Jerusalem, and before us, victory is in the aliance of the struggling peoples.

In a speech in [no date] in honor of the twelth anniversary of the founding of the PFLP published in the issue of December 15, 1979, Pp. 5-11. he singles out the Iranian revolution for special greetings: We hail the Iranian revolution, and at this moment, the Iranian people itself, the Iranian masses, the Iranian revolution, Imam Khomeini and we announce with these greetings that we are in the same trench confronting American imperialism, enemy of the peoples, enemy of humanity." He returns to this theme later, saying, "Let us prepare to defend the Iranian revolution. We hereby declare our complete solidarity with Imam Khomeini, we declare our complete solidarity with revolutionary Islam, progressive Islam, anti-imperialist Islam, anti-Zionist Islam, and we call for greater cohesion between all progressive anti-imperialist and anti-Zionist forces." In conclusion, he asks, after mentioning the revolutionary victories in Vietnam and Cuba, "Why cannot we, the Palestinian people, we, the Lebanese people, we, the Arab people, we, the Iranian people, we, the people of the region, we, the people of the world, why can we not destroy imperialism's plans?"

Later in that issue, P. 15. we read that Tehran radio picked up portions of this speech.

In another speech to [no location], published in the issue of December 22, P. 9. he starts off his analysis of the political conjuncture with some observations on Iran: "The American-Iran crisis is not represented by the hostage-taking in the American embassy in Tehran; rather, it is represented by what the imperialist press is up to right now. This press is trying to rid American public opinion of the "Vietnam syndrom," it wants to say that the Americans suffered a defeat once in Vietnam, but this does not mean that they will always be defeated, meaning by this that imperialism is still powerful and is still able to support its interests, and on this basis, it is mobilizing its air and sea forces, it is preparing to launch a violent attack on the Iranian revolution, it is planning to return to the region to complete its plans and to finish off the Palestinian revolution and the Arab liberation movement.

Regarding imperialism's enmity towards the revolution in Iran, we, in the name of the PFLP, declare our firm stand with the Iranian revolution and with the masses of the Iranian people.

From our ideological starting-point, in which we believe with the deepest faith, we declare before you our stand with revolutionary Islam, with progressive Islam, with anti-imperialist Islam, with anti-Zionist Islam, we affirm with Imam Khomeini, with the Iranian peoples (sic) a firm stand against American imperialism, and we affirm with Khomeini that the guns must face American imperialism, to rub its head and its nose in the dust.

Finally, the issue of January 10, 1980, contains a brief report on a meeting between Hojjatoleslam Mohammad Montazeri and George Habash, as follows: "A meeting occured between PFLP General Secretary Comrade George Habash and Hojjatoleslam Mohammad Montazeri. In the beginning of this meeting, the Comrade General Secretary expressed his warm greetings and emphasized the position of solidarity of the PFLP and all elements of the Palestinian revolution with the Iranian revolution and declared his support to the courageous stand which the Iranian revolution took in the face of American imperialism.

The discussion included political developments in Iran, in which the Comrade General Secretary emphasized that the Iranian revolution must represent a symbol for the Muslims and the abased. The discussion also included political developments in the Arab context, in which Hojjatoleslam Montazeri emphasized the Iranian revolution's position of suport to the Arab revolution and its struggle, and declared the hope of the Iranian revolution that the differences between Fath and Libya Refered to as "Al-Jamahiriya." would be resolved, for this would be in the interests of he cause of the Palestinian and Arab revolutions. He pointed out that these differences damage the Palestinian revolution.

At the end of the meeting, when the Comrade General Secretary posed the question to Hojjatoleslam Montazeri, "How can we, as a front and and the Palestinian revolution, help you?" Hojjatoleslam Montazeri replied, "We will continue in our policies by sending volunteers, 'Verily, you have given unto us much, and it is for us now to give unto you,'" a significant enough comment!

From Bani-Sadr's Election to the Iraqi Invasion of Iran

1) News Coverage of Events

The issue of March 1, 1980, includes an article pp. 32-33. on the idea of an international tribunal to investigate the Shah's crimes. The lead-in to the article reports Washington's claim to have reached an agreement with Tehran for an international commission of inquiry in exchange for the release of the hostages. But the article notes that this claim was denied by Iranian figures such as Khomeini, Bani-Sadr, and Qotbzadeh said that the commission would be permitted to visit Iran, but that its goal was only to investigate American intervention into Iran and the Shah's crimes and corruption, and either said nothing about an exhange or outright denied it. The article affects confusion as to how the Americans could say such a thing, concluding that it could only have been a lie told to win popularity with the American people, putting some ideas into the commission's head, or trying to divide the ranks of the Iranians. UN General Secretary Kurt Waldheim had also publicly said that the commission's visit would be a prelude to the hostages' release, but the students then denied it, saying that they had only be satisfied with the fulfilment of their origional demands. The French member of this commission chosen by Iran said, "Connecting the commission's work with freeing the hostages is premature," which the article takes to be an affirmation of the Iranian hard-line position, as this section of the article is sub-titled: "Iran's steadfastness and America's deceptions."

Of course, it is simpler to believe that Carter, Waldheim, and Bani-Sadr had worked out a deal which the first two naïvely trumpeted, leading to an angry denial by the students, forcing Bani-Sadr and Qotbzadeh, who had long wanted to be rid of the hostage crisis which was isolating Iran and destabilizing their positions, to scurry for cover. The author of the article, however, was anxious to stretch his credulity in pursuit of the idea that "the Iranians, whether Khomeini or Bani-Sadr or the students, are alert [to "attempts to divide the ranks of the Iranian leadership over the hostage issue"] and unified their position" until they can refer it to the Consultative Assembly to be elected in the coming months.

The commission, for its part, will study the conditions of Iran under the Shah by the criterion of international law, much like commissions which had been sent to Namibia and Chile in the past. The commission's time-table is discussed, as well as an article from Ettela'at which reports that the commission will tour SAVAK's old torture chambers, the royal palace, Behesht-e Zahra cemetary, Presumably. Reading for Jinnat, Behesht. etc.

The article closes quoting Khomeini's call for the Shah's return to stand trial and telling the students to stand firm and denouncing "Western propaganda" for allegedly confusing matters by reporting a connection between the commission's work and the hostage issue.

The issue of March 8 includes an article pp. 16-17. on Iran and the Carter administration. The latter is throwing a tantrum over the hostages but cannot intimidate Iran into releasing them. In addition to threats, this also involves some guileful interest in peace and Islam Islám and salám. and human rights. The third is simply dismissed as demagogy. The second, regarding "the Soviet Union's internationalist assistance to heroic Afghanistan and its intrepid revolution," is contrasted at some length with Carter’s refusal to accept the idea of an independent Palestinian state, in the process of which, the first claim is attacked.

Far in the back of this issue p. 41. appears an article aberrantly hostile to the Iranian opposition, roughly along the lines of a Tudeh Party tirade, although also understandable in the context of the previous articles. Entitled, "The CIA Counts on Overturning the Revolution from Within This Time," it opens, "Since the Iranian Muslim Students occupied the American embassy and took hostages in order to have the deposed Shah of Iran extradited, and the Iranian money which he stole when he left returned, the Iran-American crisis has escalated." It is worth mentioning that this is the first time that the students occupying the embassy are refered to even roughly as they refer to themselves—Muslim Students—and that their real demands are posed squarely, even if not precisely the way they themselves would pose them. On the first, point, their full title is "Muslim Students following the Imam's Line." On the second, it is a point of honor for them not to legitimize the American embassy by refering to it as anything but a "Den of Spies."

In the next paragraph, the article links America's interest in Afghanistan to the Iran crisis in a rather unexpected way: "Washingon relies on the impact of the latest events in Afghanistan to create an "international crisis" to divert the attention of political observers and the Iranian peoples in particular from the crisis in American-Iranian relations and keep it in the shadows."

The balance of the article is composed of hints and insinuations of CIA activity in Iran. Thus, Khomeini claimed that the CIA was responsible for the assassinations of Ayatollah Motahhari and General Qarani—the latter having been accused of being an American agent only weeks earlier!—and having tried to kill Ayatollah Rafsanjani. It constinues, "Similarly, American intelligence was discovered to have been encouraging reactionary separatist movements in Iran and prodding them to be obstinant towards the central government, and now the United States is continuing to conspire against the Iranian revolution, trying in various ways to overturn the ruling order and is relying on influencial figures with which American intelligence had established relations in the fifties. These figures are trying to preserve large portions of the Shah's SAVAK agents in the service of the new Iranian security agency" and are trying to preserve certain agreements with the Americans and are pressuring Khomeini to work with the Americans. This description fits Bazargan.

However, the article continues, "Some of these figures which had an active share in founding the Confederation of Iranian Students in America, which was honeycombed with American spies, and which provoked the residents of Kurdistan's hatred against the Islamic republic and their distrust in Ayatollah Khomeini, and Kurdish landlords, who armed troublemakers and incited hatred between Kurds and Azarbaijanis—those who occupy important positions are these figures, and some have kept out of the political arena, but are still working tirelessly and make contacts with the Americans in Paris, etc. And they scheme together on how to remove obstacles from the path of an Iran-American rapprochement and destroy the nationalistic anti-American struggle in Iran and are working to strengthen their position in the country's leadership," intending to take their struggle into the Majlis. These elements are trying to get "the Islamic leadership" to "settle its difference with the Americans on the basis of making way for American interests in the country and the Islamic world." As for the Confederation, it was a zealously Maoist organization, most of its factions sharing varying degrees of hostility towards the Soviets. It was, therefore, a bête noire of the Tudeh, although this diatribe is much more vitriolic than the run of the Tudeh’s polemics.

On the national question, the article continues, "The Iranian revolution, which set a new and progressive example in Islamic religious thought and broke down the mightiest imperialist position is now faced with a series of secret conspiracies. The danger is that imperialism, after having exerted all its efforts at striking at the revolution from without and witnessing the nationalist struggles and domestic disturbances, is now resorting to striking at the revolution from within, utilizing the existence of its agents, in the first place, and reformist currents and the methods they follow." The way out of this impass is to "strike at [imperialism's] allies and positions until these American schemes cannot sneak in anymore." This is the only way to get America to "give in to the Iranian peoples' rights and interests" which, according to the article, now consist entirely of "not intervening in Iran's internal affairs and returning the agent Shah, while addressing the important issue of deepening diplomatic relations with the Iranian democratic forces which had struggled long and played a decisive role in the revolution's victory and overthrowing the Shah." These elements should be permitted into the government as a priority, "where they would participate in mobilizing and organizing the masses and sharpen hostility to American imperialism, the Iranian enemy's prime enemy."

Despite continuing to put the best face on events in Iran, some of the old anxieties about the Islamic Republic re-emerge in a report published in the issue of March 22, p. 34. on the first round of the Majlis elections held on March 14, inaugurating a period in which these anxieties and feelings of solidarity with Iran against imperialism vie with each other. The article passes quickly over the relation between the hostage issue and the elections (i.e., that it will be the Majlis—or as Al-Hadaf calls it, the parliament, which makes the final decision about the hostages).

The elections were said to have "proceeded soundly, despite complaints presented by the People's Mojahedin from Kermanshah and the People's Fedais from Shahrud in the north and Rasht by the [Caspian] and from Bani-Sadr's allies over intervention by Revolutionary Guards and electoral fraud, to the degree that President Bani-Sadr declared the elections would be voided if the incidents of fraud could be proven." The article noted that 79 were elected on the first round, of whom, 36 were members of the IRP, compared with 15 Bani-Sadr supporters, 4 KDP'ers, 3 members of the National Front, It is claimed that the NF is led by Bazargan, confusing it with the Liberation Movement. a member of the Fedayan-e Eslam, ex-governor of Khuzistan Admiral Madani, Ayatollah Taleqani's daughter A'zam For 'Aram. Taleqani, People's Mojahed leader Mas'ud Rajavi, Sadeq Khalkhali, Mohammad Montazeri, and Bani-Sadr's ally Ahmad Salamatian.

The IRP Throughout the article, the Islamic Republican Party is simply called "the Republican Party." is tipped to be the big winner when the results from the second round are added up. It is described as the party which "put obstacles in front of President Bani-Sadr," who stands to lose if they are in a position to impose their candidate for Prime Minister through a parliamentary majority. In addition, Bani-Sadr's room for maneuver would be greatly restricted by the implementation of Article Five of the constitution, which gives Khomeini extraordinary powers. In this event, the article forsees "a new alliance on the political scene between Bani-Sadr's allies, the People's Mojahedin, and the People's Fedai Guerillas as well as representatives of democratic parties and parties of the national minorities, for such an alliance is the only thing which could exert pressure on the IRP to a palpable degree, [passage illegible] Iran's political and social problems, including the democratic parties or the problems of the minorities or representing the broadest masses in politically governing the country."

The article concludes with some vignettes from or facts related to the elections, by way of illustrating their character. The first regards the massive level of illiteracy. Second, there was fighting in Kurdistan over the elections; in Sanandaj, "several Revolutionary Guards, or Pasdaran were killed, although a large portion of residents, according to their votes, gave most of their support to the candidates of the KDP and the IRP, particularly Ayatollah Beheshti. Some interpret this as being because he appeared so frequently on television. On the "sharp struggle between the candidates of the People's Mojahedin and those of the IRP," the article remarks, "the wierdest charges have been leveled by the IRP at Mr. Mas'ud Rajavi, the People's Mojahedin's leading official, accusing him of having worked with SAVAK, while everyone knows that Rajavi was a victim of SAVAK's prisons and torture during the Shah's days." Of the IRP itself, the article remarks that it "has had a great impact on the masses because of its intensifying campaign against American imperialism, its insistence that the Shah be given over in exchange for the hostages' release, and this has won the Muslim students to their ranks" as well as "the poor from south Tehran. On the other hand, they have lost some of the bazar merchants who voted for the President's candidates."

The only article in this period focusing on the revolution's impact in the region appears in the issue of April 5, 1980, pp. 38-39. which reports on the ex-Shah's reception in Egypt. Comments about Egyptian hospitality by Sadat and the tame press are greeted with predictible derision. He claims that Egypt owed the ex-Shah a particular debt of gratitude for Iran's having sent Egypt oil after the 1973 war and for his support to the Egyptian peace initiative of 1979.

This is not how Egyptian nationalist opinion saw it, however. The Islamic forces were infuriated and the nationalists saw it as a continuation of the deal made with Israel. A stormy demonstration broke out in the University of Cairo against "dictatorship in Egypt," and police had to shut the university gates to keep the masses in the streets from rushing in to join it. The demonstrators accused the ex-Shah of massacring thousands of Iranians. They shouted, "No to repression!" and "No to tyranny!" and "How can you accept the Shah, O Cairo?!" Keif tastati'in qabul al-Shah, ayyahal-Kahira. Many were killed and injured in the ensuing repression, including dozens who were hit by gun fire. The Minister of the Interior, for his part, found that the students had used molotov cocktails against the forces of order.

The progressive Tajammuu’ Party issued a statement in which it declared, "The ex-Shah is not a martyr, but a tyrant, and was not a friend of the Arabs for a single day." It continued, "We understand the right to asylum had been granted him out of compassion, but we do not understand why the Egyptian government declares that he is a martyr." It added, "The ex-Shah's illness does not mean he was not a tyrant who did whatever he could to repress his people, and he has met the fate he deserved."

Finally, the article reports a demonstration held by the Iranian Muslim Students' Organization in Lebanon, which delivered a statement to the French embassy calling for the Shah's extradition and calling on the Egyptian people to rise up against Sadat.

An article in the issue of April 19 pp.35-36. represents a return to Al-Hadaf's original take on the US-Iran crisis over the hostages, i.e., 1) the hostage crisis is a diversion, a position which, I believe conceals the analyst's own ambivalences over the issue as it is seized upon by the clericalist radicals against their rivals, Bani-Sadr in particular and 2) the real issue for Al-Hadaf's readership in the Gulf is using this crisis to deepen its own struggle, and that solidarity with the Iranian revolution, though a duty, is not the real issue.

The article begins, "America's escalation of the Iranian-American crisis conceals imperialism's goals in combatting the struggles of the region's peoples" and extending the Camp David project. This escalation of activities is represented in 1) getting the Europeans to help arrange a settlement of the Arab-Israel conflict along pro-American lines, as represented by French Prime Minister D'Estaing's visit to the Gulf and Jordan, 2) "besieging the Iranian revolution" and getting America's regional allies to participate in this project, in order to "weaken the Iranian role in arousing the region's peoples or helping the Palestinian revolution;" 3) consolidating a "front of Arab reaction in support of the American position" by "exploiting the events in Afghanistan" This is something of a departure for Al-Hadaf, which ordinarily considers these "events" to have been a revolution, not a debacle to be "exploiting," but a historical advance under attack. to "pave the way militarily for American intervention forces in its agression against the Iranian revolution and America’s confrontation with the socialist camp."

The remaining two-thirds of the article focuses in on the crisis between Iran and the Americans. On the one hand, "the Iranian religious leadership has limitless mass resources both within the country and without, with widespread support, and does not play at diplomatic half-measures. The crisis will not be solved except through the Consultative Assembly and the granting of the just demands raised by the Muslim students."

On the other hand, the Carter administration's support is plummeting, and all its efforts have accomplished nothing. Its military maneuvers against Iran are seen as electory grandstanding. Its economic sanctions have backfired, as its allies have shrunken from following them, as well as uniting the Iranian people behind the revolution. Thus, "Iran's Majlis threatened that Iran would cut off oil to any country which supported the American positions."

The Soviets figure in all this: they have called on the Carter administration to return the Shah and his wealth. In addition, their position in the Gulf region is the other target of the Carter adminstration's build-up there.

As a footnote to this discussion, it might be mentined that, although the article fell for Defense Secretary Harold Brown's diversionary lie that any military hostage rescue mission was ruled out because it would endanger the hostage's lives, it did remark that "decisions to blockade quickly lead to real war, and so observers observers do not see the situation as it is at present, but they see its future dimension will develop, as the situation deteriorates, into military actions which will spark a war in the Gulf."

The article closes with the observation, "The Iranian and Palestinian revolutions have opened the horizons of an anti-imperialist and anti-Zionist front, and it is up to all nationalist organizations and abased mustadh'af peoples to join this front and support it until the aggression [against Iran] ends and the land [of Palestine] is liberated.

The issue of May 3, 1980, carries an article pp. 36-38. on the failure of the so-called hostage rescue mission. The article opens by explaining that "the point was not just to rescue the hostages in what is known as the Nest of Spies in Tehran. Note that this is the first time this term is used. This was the declared goal, but the hidden was to target the Iranian revolution and its leadership." The article continues that there are two indications that this is not the end of the matter. One is that Foreign Minister Cyrus Vance tendered his resignation, to be replaced by "cold war supporter" Zbignew Brezinski. The second is a rash of suspicious fires which broke out in Tehran in the three days after the mission failed.

In any case, the article comments that a certain psychological threshhold has been crossed, that American reluctance towards foreign adventures aquired due to its defeat in Vietnam, was being overcome. It also noted that this was the first time the Americans had used the Rapid Deployment Force.

The remaining half of the article is a discussion of the particulars of the mission, followed by a summary of American intervention forces in the region.

The issue of May 10 carries an article pp. 38-39. entitled "All Imperialism Conspires to Intervene in the Iranian Revolution." It begins, "The Iranian revolution, which is like the cry of the abased mustadh'ifin in the region against imperialism, and which has been a living example of a huge popular revolution which no power can stop, announced from the beginning of its awesome victory that it stands with the international liberation movements, and in particular, its total commitment towards the Palestinian revolution and the struggle against International Zionism and the liberation of the land. This revolution has prepared a unique revolutionary role for itself. It has lately faced internal fighting and splits in its domestic ranks" the political content of which are not described. Finally, and more to the point, it is facing aggression by the Americans and their allies.

The article then reiterates some points about America beginning to overcome its hesitations over foreign military intervention. It continues, discussing American efforts to reinforce its position in the region, a process which it dates to January 1979, when Oman proposed to its fellow Gulf states to invite the Americans and the Western Europeans in to participate in strengthening the Gulf's security; in particular, this system would safeguard the Straits of Hormuz in the event of war.

The article continues with a summary of American forces in the area. It concludes with a discussion of the French alliance with the Americans in the region, becoming increasingly prominent with D'Estaign's above-mentioned visit, where he tried to sell his proposal for a settlement of the Arab-Israeli dispute along with French commercial deals, meanwhile promising "to send whatever support requested of the West for the region in its confrontation with the extension of the Iranian revolution, in exchange for which, the region's governments will be like central bases for the West for an attack on the Iranian revolution and the overthrow of its revolutionary government."

This part of the article continues, remarking that "the French position, which is based on American policies calling for military intervention is not new. In 1973, after the September war, when the Arabs began the oil embargo, An embargo in which the Shah had played a leading role1 which did not omit France, there was a French minister, the Minister of Finance, who called for military intervention in the Gulf to support Western interests, and this minister is the current French Prime Minister, Giscard D'Estaign." His criminal record includes adventures in Zaïre and Chad, supporting Egypt against Libya, supporting the Saudi throne against the Haram uprising, supporting "the agent Bourgiba" in Tunisia, "and is now standing at the forefront of the Western imperialist powers prepared to intervene against the Iranian revolution, openly or by supporting the neighboring regimes militarily in a war against Iran," a portentious passage, indeed!

The article concludes with the comment that imperialism has "supported the religious right organizations within [Iran] and is trying every day to split the nation’s unity by stirring up diversionary fighting aong the minorities, in the universities, etc. It considers Shahpur Bakhtiar's claim that he will return to Iran and lead the fight against the current regime part of this plan "which will not stop with the overthrown of the Iranian revolution alone, but also addresses the national liberation movements in the region And so it is clearly important that there be an alliance of liberation forces to stand with the Iranian revolution in its war against imperialism."

The struggle between Bani-Sadr and his opponents returns to center stage in June and July, commencing with an article on the second round of the Majlis elections in the issue of May17. pp. 30-31. It begins by observing that Bani-Sadr won the elections for the presidency despite the majority support enjoyed by Ayatollah Beheshti's IRP because he had Khomeini's support. Now it is "Beheshti's party" which won and will go on to form a government. It is also mentioned that Bazargan's men have gotten important positions in the government and that Defense Minister Mostafa Chamran and Deputy Defense Minister Ali Khamenei have been appointed positions in the National Defence Council by Khomeini, to keep them out of the elections.

It continues, "The secular politicians expected a fierce struggle in the first parliamentary elections of last January and that the President's current would win, which would have lead to a deadlock between him and the IRP. This milieu was predicting that the Iranian revolution would witness a new phase, one troubled by struggles between parties and individuals, leading to a split in its leadership and debates would turn from debates in the journals into fighting in the streets. The West, particularly the United States, is counting on this," for this would give them the opportunity "to pounce on the revolution and wipe it out and prevent it from influencing the region and, pending this, it has put off any attempt at escalation or declaring war or even economic embargo, hoping for the outbreak of domestic fighting, which would open the way for intervention." But these imperialist calculations have been frustrated by the anti-imperialist unity shown by the Iranian people after each stage of the elections, and the revolution did not devour its children. One sign of this unity has been a call from the IRP on the one hand and Bani-Sadr's and Bazargan's forces on the other for the formation of a government even before the parliamentary elections are held. The article adds, again portentiously, that after all these failures, the Americans have "delegated the destruction of the Iranian revolution to the neighboring regimes, giving them the role of fighting a proxy war."

As for the future Prime Minister, the article quotes Beheshti and Bani-Sadr as both being for a compromise candidate, an observation more in line, perhaps, with Al-Hadaf's hopes in unity than with what would transpire. One such candidate is given as a Tehran University rector name Taqizadeh. Another is Ali-Reza Nawbari, director of Iran's central bank. Others mentioned are Hasan Habib, Daryush Faruhar, and Admiral Ahmad Madani. A close ally of Bani-Sadr's, the IRP's presidential candidate, a right-wing Iranian nationalist (and non-Muslim), and the governor of Khuzistan. The latter is particularly interesting. It is interesting that his role in crushing the Arab nationalist ferment in Khuzistan is only mentioned once, briefly, in all the articles in Al-Hadaf surveyed.

The article closes by reminding the reader of the tremendous responsibilities faced by the Iranian revolution. "After having drawn the Shah's Persian teeth and founded Islamic internationalism and cooperated with Arab national liberation movements to wipe out Western interests in the region and help the abased people, imperialism is trying with every resource to divide the front of the abased and divide the Arabs from Iran while fanning the flames of racism and encouraging pockets of counter-revolution from within and testing the idea of war by proxy, which means that a regime would be chosen by the West to fight against the Iranian revolution. Except the peoples of the region know the score and will all stand with the Iranian revolution and against the imperialist front."

By the issue of June 28, 1980, the struggle between Bani-Sadr and his allies became too sharp to be fudged over. An article pp. 32-33. on this matter begins with almost Bazargan-style complaints, stating that the "Current revolutionary ferment Makhaz, literally, birth pangs. in Iran is an effort to put a final limit to the dispersion and proliferation of centers of power due to which the government has disappeared for numerous petty governments to take its place, indicating its weakness, and their differences threaten the nation's unity and the revolution's power and help American imperialism and the neighboring reactionary forces to attack the revolution and wipe it out." A confrontation is pitting "the perspective of President Bani-Sadr, the Islamic Republic's economic theoretician who has enjoyed the complete support of Imam Khomeini, his family, and those close to him, and much of the clergy and the youth are zealous supporters of Bani-Sadr's ideas of tawhidi economics" against "the perspective of the IRP, led by Ayatollah Beheshti, who has a parliamentary majority enabling him to close down any republican institution, and this majority will determine the Prime Minister and the ministers. This party has widespread support in the army and the Revolutionary Guards and the minor clergy throught the country. Around this party and spring out of it are other extremist organizations and parties such as the Hezbollah [Party of God], which has lately attacked the Organization of People's Mojahedin in the universitites. This Party is considered to be a dangerous rival to the President."

The article continues: "Such an important political ferment demands some alliances of the sort that Al-Hadaf has previously said that Bani-Sadr would resort to when he was elected and after his loss of the majority in the Consultative Assembly." See the discussion of the article in the issue of March 22, 1980. The article continues, deploring the fact that neither side is willing to back down in order to break this impass. The alliances—"real on the level of daily life, despite their informality"—are described as follows: "On the one hand, there are parties such as the IRP, the Hezbollah, the Revolutionary Committees (founded by the IRP as an alternative to the Revolutionary Guards), the popular militias, the Tudeh Party (the Iranian Communist Party), and on the other hand, there is Bani-Sadr's current and its supporters from among the clergy, the intellectuals, and the politicians, the National Front led by Karim Sanjabi, the Iran Liberation Movement led by Mehdi Bazargan, and then the Organization of Iranian People's Mojahedin led by Mas'ud Rajavi and autonomist nationalist organizations, such as the Kurdish armed organizations, etc., Bani-Sadr having promised to implement autonomy."

"These two informal alliances" have fought over every mass institution and have done what they could to recruit to their cause various nationalist and religious figures. "As one leader of the IRP said, his Party works indefatigably to push Bani-Sadr's current to ally with the National Front, the Iran Liberation Movement, the Mojahedin, and the Kurds, for it makes it easier for his Party to accuse him of working with foreigners as well as to attack him and overthrow him!"

According to the article, "The roots of the current power struggle go back to the time when the IRP faltered in the presidential elections and withdrew its candidate, and its being confounded by the masses rallying around the one individual who was attractive both intellectually and religiously, Bani-Sadr, who, in addition, enjoyed the support of the higher clergy and those close to the Imam." But Bani-Sadr's enemies regrouped and gathered strength "in the government and among the masses." The article goes on to discuss the Ayat tapes, published in Bani-Sadr's Islamic Revolution, of a talk given by IRP spokesman Hasan Ayat "about a conspiracy through which his party was preparing to overthrow the ruling government by creating security problems for Bani-Sadr to weaken him and overthrow him." First, the IRP would "stir up trouble on the campuses and in cultural institutions under the cover of a cultural revolution." He went on to call for "an armed uprising, using the Army of Twenty Million." An expression used by Khomeini at the beginning of the hostage crisis, refering to the army which would greet any American assault on Iran. Although Ayat declared that he had been willing to face the firing squad if he had ever schemed against the Islamic Republic, his own party admitted that he had said what he was accused of saying when it declared that his words represented his personal views, not those of the IRP. The article concludes this discussion by saying, "Whether Hasan Ayat was speaking for himself or for his party, what he said represented a grave danger. It means that the confrontation between the two chief currents has reached the point of conspiracy and military activity." The author expresses the hope that "By publishing this in the Iranian press, Bani-Sadr's current might win over many individuals to his ranks, and thus win broad popular sympathy. This event poses before Imam Khomeini the responsibility to intervene."

As for the future, "Some who are informed of what is happening in Iran see President Bani-Sadr as allying himself with Khomeini's family, Ahmad and Hosein, and with Ayatollah Pasandideh (Khomeini's elder brother). The first two are Khomeini's son and grandson. The third is spelled Pasandiri, but there can be no doubt of whom the author meant. to get the Imam to help the president and stand with him to dominate the state apparatus for the president so that he I.e., Khomeini; he is the only person the constitution grants arbitrary powers to. It is interesting that these observers and friends of Al-Hadaf are now leaning on the article in the Iranian Constitution that they had previously found the most objectionable, i.e., article 5. might run the government, which the Constitution allows him to to do without hindrance, as the President resorts to gaining the votes of the independents in the Consultative Assembly in order to create a bloc to rival the IRP's bloc, enabling him to compose a ministry which could gain the parliament's trust. But some sources close to the President believe that, were he to find himself in a state of a permanent IRP parliamentary majority, he would issue a resolution dissolving the Consultative Assembly based upon a constitutional provision allowing him to do so." The article concludes by predicting sharpening conflicts and Khomeini stepping in to play a leading role to settle them.

The issue of July 5, 1980, carries an analysis pp. 36-37. of the cultural revolution which began late the previous month. It begins with Khomeini's "violent attack on Iranian leaders which included President Bani-Sadr and the Consultative Assembly Here, as elsewhere, Al-Hadaf slips into calling it the Majlis al-Thawra (Revolutionary Assembly) instead of the Majlis al-Shawra (Consultative Assembly). and threatening to discredit them within ten days if they continue to be incapable of fighting the old system which continues to have its impact on the state apparatus," after which he will call on the people to overthrow them just as he had them overthrow the Shah. He threatend "to send anyone, even ministers, before the Revolutionary Judge if it be confirmed that he was blocking the purge of the ministries or using monarchist slogans."

For his part, the president offered to resign if Khomeini "announced that he felt that I had turned from the school of Islam." He pleaded that he was not responsible "for the ministers he had inherited from Mehdi Bazargan." The article continues, though, with the observation, "Despite President Bani-Sadr's complete obedience to Imam Khomeini, many dispute him or protest some of his views about the ideal system of the Islamic Republic. Imam Khomeini chose him to be the first president of the Islamic Republic in Iran, and Bani-Sadr occupies a special position among the Iranian masses, he is the first among them, some even believe that the breadth of his popularity rivals that of the Imam, noting a recent study of public opinion in the schools of Tehran which confirmed that Bani-Sadr led Imam Khomeini in popularity among the masses, Khomeini getting 48% of the votes, as opposed to 75% for Bani-Sadr."

In any case, the president then launched the cultural revolution, the call for which was quickly picked up by Ayatollah Beheshti's IRP which controls the Majlis, the other target of Khomeini's ire. A furious campaign was launched to eliminate monarchist slogans from government stationary, offices, etc., and replace them with Islamic republican slogans. Thus, the Red Lion and Sun (the Iranian Red Cross) was changed to the Red Crescent.

This cultural revolution, which was, as can be imagined, a source of further chaos in the country, is depicted in the article as "a repudiation by the Imam of the chaos which reigns in the land at all levels: oil production is down by a quarter, Iranian technical workers have witnessed a flight from their ranks abroad, and the crisis over the American hostages is creating further difficulties and is becoming an obstacle to the country's progress, indeed, the President claims it is the basis of the malady: he blames the country's mounting inflation on "the economic blockade, the absence of economic planning, and the continuation of the problem of the hostages." Thus, President Bani-Sadr emphasizes the economic importance of foreign relations and warns that the economic situation will not improve, and that “it would be desirable for us to change our foreign relations and use our existing potential in the world to solve our problems."

Among these problems which are creating difficulties or make it impossible to take radical measures is the proliferation of centers of power and the absence of a state; the state and the revolution do not meet in Iran, for in the middle of that tumultuous revolution, there was no possibility of founding a state, the revolution being incapable of forming its foundations; rather, it has even been incapable so far of choosing a prime minister able to take care of a minimum of the masses' vital problems. On another level, the problem of the minorities have not received the solutions due them.

This is where the Imam came in, i.e., the burdensomeness among the ruins of the revolution and its masses, and this was the purpose of the attack on the centers of power and the governments and his threat to return to the people if the revolution does not put an end to the monarchist system, and it is from this position that Khomeini had Iran enter a new phase of the revolution. In addition to the Islamic Cultural Revolutionary Committees, which he announced last June 13 and which are still actively supervising a new program for education and organizing a center "to determine the future cultural line of the universities," other cultural committees are now being organized in the radio and television. Such a committee was set up in the Ministry of Education in accordance with the Imam's instructions to compile a program of Islam cultural teachings in cooperation with the university" instead of the old program, "which the Imam called Western.

The question then arises as to whether or not this Islamic cultural revolution might ignite a new power struggle and what impact this might have on the proliferation of power centers. One problem along these lines has been "Bani-Sadr's incapacity to impose his dominance on the Revolutionary Guards." His man in the leadership, Abu Sharif, resigned in despair of being able to control them after they opened fire on a a rally of the People's Mojahedin, and it passed into the complete control of the IRP.

The article concludes with a meditation on the relationship of conflict and the symbiosis between state and revolution: "Revolution without state in the context of the imperialist onslaught against Iran and the economic blockade and the internal chaos will be the end of the revolution and its leadership. Similarly, founding a state without revolution threatens the masses' gains and the country's democracy. Thus, despite some events, such as the decision of the People's Mojahedin, who were forced to close their offices in parts of Iran until the government officials clarify their legal and political rights according to the constitution and the purge attacks on numerous leftist elements which has lasted some time, there remains the need to fix the centers of the revolution and renew the masses' enthusiasm for it through drafting a program able to pose speedy solutions to the difficulties which surround its leadership."

This period includes a longer piece, "The Vistas of the American-Iranian Stuggle after Operation Blue Light," by Shadi Aql, appearing in the issue of July 5, 1980. pp. 21-26.

The article first takes up some objections to "the occupation of the American embassy in Tehran and taking its diplomats and functionaries hostage," an operation which "forms the axis of the American-Iranian struggle." Thus, "Aside from questions of international law, the embassy operation played a great, indeed, an essential, role in deepening the contradictions between the Iranian revolution and American imperialism." This is "of extraordinary importance not only on the level of the ongoing revolution in Iran and its future, but also on the level of the struggle against American imperialism in the Arab and Islamic worlds."

These objections concern this operation's violation of international law and the laws of revolution, the latter arguing that "occupying the American embassy is not the "model" way to struggle against American imperialism. This objection," the author continues, "indicates that those who raise it want a "legitimate" or "revolutionary" excuse for their hostility towards the Iranian revolution, or, at best, that they are prisoners of ideas immersed in subjectivism and idealism regarding the ways and forms of anti-imperialist struggle." As for those who complain about international law, "The Iranians "did not discover gunpowder" when they announced that the United States embassy was a den of spies and conspiracy, for this description and task is the essence of American embassies throught the world, every people and their revolutionary forces understand this. So what is this "international law" which Washington is crying over these days?"

Thus, "supporting the embassy operation" is "incumbent upon all revolutionaries, particularly now;" it has "intensified the American-Iranian struggle and raised it to a new stage, the stage of open military confrontation. In such a confrontation, the final result will be nothing but a blow to and a weakening of American imperialist influence throughout the region. The White House's stupidity and the spirit of adventure regardless of the consequences which dominates the Pentagon might be a disaster for American imperialist interests in the region. The Iranian students who occupied the American embassy (and, similarly, the Iranian leadership) probably did not anticipate the results of what they did and are doing by seizing fifty American diplomats. The results were completely different from what either side of the struggle had anticipated. Iran believed at first that it might encourage America to respond to its demands, particularly that of the Shah's extradition." Instead, the struggle "transcended the narrow confines of the embassy operation and became a bitter all-out struggle." As for the Americans, they declared that they want to raise the struggle to the level of "striking at the Iranian revolution and overthrowing its leadership, this is the only way to understand America's trade and financial measures against Iran." The recent failed military operation against Iran clearly illustrates that humanitarian motivations were not involved.

The author considers both sides to be "prisoners of the crisis." On the one hand, "The Iranian leadership, of course, cannot retreat from its well-known conditions to free the hostages and end the embassy crisis." One of the issues at stake is the dominance of the "radical Islamic current in its confrontation with the liberals in the Iranian government." For "the radical Islamic current, led by Imam Khomeini, increased its political and popular prestige in proportion with its steadfastness in the embassy affair; it cannot be lax in the Iranian demands or haggle over them without losing this political or popular stock."

On the other hand, the Americans will feel compelled to continue with still greater military operations against Iran. In any case, Carter, in order to be re-elected, must have the hostages released. He also notes that American strategic interests are much broader than Carter's personal ambitions; the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSC have their own agenda, and for them, the hostages are merely a pretext to mobilize American public opinion against the Iranian revolution and bend the state apparatus to serve it to this end.

The article poses the question, why don't the Americans simply return the Shah and his wealth. It dismisses the answer that this would raise a bad precedent—"this official answer doesn't have a particle of truth"— claiming that the real reason is that there is "a condition of greater importance than the return of the Shah and his wealth. This condition requires Washington to apologize to Iran for the crimes it has been guilty of during the Shah's rule."

The article continues, cataloguing America's crimes against Iran. These consist of "all of the United States' economic, political, military, and ideological interests in Iran. They (i.e., the crimes) include American imperialism's looting of Iran's natural wealth, its oil wealth in particular." It would include "distorting Iran's economic growth, wasting its social wealth, depriving Iran of using its awesome monetary wealth used for finance capitalist interests and not in the interests of Iranian economic development." A further crime was added when America froze Iran's assets.

"In the political field, America must apologize for its crimes such as supporting the Shah and overthrowing the Mosaddeq government and setting up SAVAK and using Iran as a base for supporting American interests in the Gulf," as in Dhofar.

Militarily, America's crimes consisted of feeding the Shah's megalomania to boost his extravegant war machine and violating Iran's sovereignity by using it as an outpost to spy on the Soviets and strike at the region's national liberation movements.

As for the crimes which America is culpable of in the ideological or cultural fields (and these occupy a special place with the revolution's religious leadership), it has presided over crimes against the Iranian people's religious heritage by Westernizing or Persianizing Iranian culture. And this itself was practically a war to morally disolve the bourgeoisie and other lesser elements into Western culture, while refusing any negative position on Western culture itself!" [passage unreadable]

The author sees the danger of such an apology as setting a precedent indeed, leading other countries to demand apologies for similar crimes, In light of what actually transpired, i.e., that the apology—superficial as it turned out to have been—being the only thing the Iranian Majlis was able to get out of the Americans, this business sound suspiciously like Uncle Remus story of Brer Rabbit and the Briar Patch. thoroughly discrediting the Americans. "This is the issue, not that of surrendering the Shah and his wealth, but the issue of getting the Americans to apologize for their crimes in Iran."

This discussion ends with the observation that the Americans had hoped that "the Soviet military intervention into Afghanistan" would draw Iran's military to their side. The Iranian leadership reacted "unenthusiasticly" towards this intervention, but "its hatred of America overcame its hatred of Communism and it vehemently rejected the return of an American presence in Iran."

The article then goes into some of the particulars of the failed mission. It noted that its success would have doomed the hostages to a certain death. It isolated the administration, the American Congress not having been notified that an act of war was to be committed against Iran. In addition to this, this was an act of war against a country which had a mutual defense pact with the Soviets. It offended America's Western allies, who had agreed to sanctions against Iran on the condition that no military action be taken.

The question is posed, that if this mission was not aimed at freeing the hostages and was aimed at overthrowing the revolutionary government, what could 90 men have done? The author argues that these were only the spearhead of a larger operation involving "thousands of Iranians loyal to the America and the ex-Shah's regime," backing up his assertion with Senator Glenn's hypothesis that these forces were to have linked up with a fifth column, as well as speculation by other American sources. In particular, the Daily News of June 25 and Novosti citing the Washington Post, June 28. The author also cites documents discovered by Ayatollah Khalkhali describing an ambitious plan to close several airports and assassinate Ayatollah Khomeini.

The author of the article cites four basic points about the American predicament over the hostages. 1) The Americans cannot free them by armed force, and so any armed intervention could only be meant to target the revolution itself. 2) Any American attack on Iranian oil wells or military airbases would only stiffen Iran's resolve over the fate of the hostages. 3) Not only would an American attack on Iran impose high casualties on the aggressors, but would threaten to drag the Soviets into the fighting, such an invasion being a threat to the Soviet Union itself. 4) Economic and diplomatic pressures on Iran are futile.

America's options, then, include a blockade of Iran, possibly involving mining Iranian waters. "Washington is gambling on an economic blockade weakening the radical current's political position and popularity and strengthening that of the pro-American forces, thus overturning the present Iranian government." The author sees this as a viable option, the Europeans being willing to substitute other Gulf oil for the Iranian oil they are so dependent on (although he neglects to mention that they have been doing brisk business with Iran despite a so-called boycott) and the Gulf Arab states "would have no hesitations about supporting an American imperialist war against Iran."

One obstacle to such aggression would be the Soviet Union. The idea of Iran, as a sovereign country, requesting the Soviets to run a blockade, concerns the Americans, worried that too aggressive a posture would push Iran into the Soviets' hands. The Americans, then, are gambling on the religious leadership's distrust of the Soviets. However, the author, although conceding that "religious plays a powerful role in Iranian politics," believes that the material fact of an embargo would overcome religious concerns. He sees recent deals concluded with the Soviets and Poland as a sign of this.

The article's final section focuses on Iran's internal political life. After dismissing as implausible three other American options (taking a province such as "Arabistan" The province's pre-Pahlavi name. Earlier in the article, he called the province by its recognized name, i.e., Khuzistan. hostage, kidnapping Khomeini, In the course of discussing this option, the author righly recalls that Khomeini had called the Haram uprising in Saudi Arabia an American plot. I believe that this is the first time that an alternative the repeated insistance that this was a nationalist revolt appeared in the pages of Al-Hadaf. and a military coup), he turns next to the possibility: "Exploiting nationalist uprisings. The nationalist uprisings are one of the Iranian government's most serious problems and they might be infiltrated by agents of an American conspiracy against the Iranian revolution. Despite the fact that the Iranian non-Persian nationalities, particularly the Kurds and the Arabs, have not demanded separation from the Iranian state, being satisfied with some nationalist demands of a cultural and administrative nature, the Iranian government has never responded to these just demands. Granting autonomy to Kurdistan and Arabistan will strengthen the Islamic Republic's unity, not weaken it and allow it to be dismembered, as the Iranian government announced.

Agents of American imperialism and the ex-Shah's regime play a filthy role in Kurdistan and Arabistan. Aside from imperialism's and reaction's exploiting nationality problems, its basis is not that the nationalist movement is an agent of America (!) or against the Iranian revolution (!), but the Iranian government refuses to solve these problems through responding to demands for autonomy. It is in the interests of the Iranian revolution, particularly at this moment, when it is engaged in its struggle with American imperialism, to call for a rapid solution to the nationalities problem.

To prove this, we ask: Is not America able to deal a lethal blow to the Iranian revolution through the nationalities problem in the province of Arabistan? The province of Arabistan is the source of Iran's oil wealth, a nationalities problem in that province and acquiescing to the demand for autonomy are still relevant because the Iranian government has so far shrunken from dealing with it in accordance with the American proclamation which graned a model when it played the role of friend of Islam and supporter of human rights, when it played the role of "friend of the downtrodden nations and their rights to self-determination." Perhaps it was because Arabistan was so awesomely rich in oil that America was so hospitable towards the a new addition to the Gulf emirates in its orbit, the Emirate of Arabistan." The author includes in this support unsubstantiated claims that it was the Americans who were behind the occupation of the Iranian consulate in London by "Arabistanis."

The article ends with the following advise:

The Iranian revolution should not stop at keeping the hostages, but make this a starting-point for an all-out assault on American imperialism.

The Iranian revolution should uproot imperialism's existence by:

  1. Launching a war including all anti-imperialist political forces, in action. Last Friday's events do not serve the interests of the struggle against American imperialism at all.
  2. Responding to the demands of the non-Persian nationalities, for this is one of the issues which American conspiracies against the Iranian revolution can exploit.
  3. Cooperating with the Soviet Union in the economic and military domains. Without loosening ties with the world capitalist market, it is impossible to carry out any serious confrontation with American imperialism."

2) George Habash's Views

The issue of February 9, 1980, reports that Dr. Habash sent a telegram to Bani-Sadr congratulating him on his election as president. p. 5. The published text reads, "Your revolutionary resolve and the Iranian masses' steadfastness and their rallying around the wise Iranian leadership led by His Beneficence Imam Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who has been able in a short, fateful time to demolish the American imperialist enemy and open vast vistages of national renewal against imperialism and its local tools.

Despite all of imperialism's militarization of these tools to pressure and threats of open military aggression and economic blockade to strangle the Islamic revolution and abort its national renewal, it will face defeat, day after day.

The defeats which American imperialism suffered in recent years, particularly after the victory of the Iranian masses' revolution, have imposed revolutionary facts, forcing it to undertake a series of fresh hostile actions in its attempt to restore the region to the status quo and continue to protect so-called "vital American interests," and, in this context, it has concluded an agreement between the agent Egyptian regime and the racist colonialist Zionist entity and pursues Brezinski's statement, or the Carter Doctrine, in dealing with the region, claiming that it is a region of American influence with its door open to blatant military aggression to protect its oil and strategic interests in the Middle East region.

The PFLP, as an element of the Palestinian revolution, stands with your revolution and warns it to prepare its resources under the guidance of your wise leadership. Finally, I congratulate you on your election to the presidency of the Islamic Republic, and let me emphasize to you and the Iranian masses our fraternal solidarity with you in the struggle against imperialism, Zionism, and reaction.

In a speech delivered by Dr. Habash and printed in the issue of March 15, 1980, he says, "The Palestinian revolution must discuss the oil situation, one day, all day, on the day when something like what happened in Iran occurs. In January 1977, Carter visited Iran. Naturally, the Shah was there, at the height of his power, and he drank a toast to him, saying, ‘We drink this glass to Iran's stable society.’

"On February 1978, the Iranian people overthrew the Shah and dealt a grievous blow to American imperialism, I say, let the people ask what is happening with oil, has that revolution begun in Saudi Arabia? Naturally, yes, for there is Khomeini, and he is recording cassettes, and there will be a revolution there one day."

The issue of April 5, 1980, carries the text of a telegram from Dr. Habash to Khomeini:

These very days, when your heroic Iranian people and your wise leadership are bravely and heroicly standing up to the evil and corrupt force represented by American imperialism, I only wish to convey to you, in the name of the Central Committee and in the name of the fighters and strugglers of the PFLP, all congratulations and our unlimited solidarity with your just demands for the extradition of the agent of imperialism and America, its creature, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi's taking refuge with his twin brother, Anwar Sadat, indeed expresses the truth about the relationship of trust between imperialist agents, as well as establishing in fact the continuation of American imperialism's bearing of the full responsibility towards the Iranian peoples' just demands on the need for the agent Shah's extradition and his being taken before a people's court.

The majority of the UN's abstention and the insistence of some on rejecting the deposed Shah's reception also expresses all humanity's rejection and condemnation of Mohammd Reza Pahlavi's crimes committed against the masses of the Iranian peoples, and force the deposed Shah to continue fleeing from one place to another, a fugitive from the people's and the revolution's justice, but the people's judgement is coming, it will not be long, neither the Shah nor Sadat will escape.

We are with you, your Beneficence the Imam. Victory ever accompanies the struggling people.

In the issue of April 19, 1980, it is reported p. 11. that a conference [passage unreadable] confirmed "its solidarity with the Iranian revolution in its struggle against the United States of America's conspiracies, considering any hostile American action to be a dangerous threat to peace and security in the region and the world."

In the issue of April 26, 1980, Dr. Habash, in an interview with the Lebanese journal Al-Nahar, Al-Nahar al-'Arabi wal-Dawali, #155. pp. 4-5 in Al-Hadaf. Dr. Habash has this answer to a question about "the impact of the Iranian revolution on the Palestinian revolution:"

Of course it had an impact. Suffice it here to recall what Menachem Begin said after the Shah's regime fell: ‘There was an earthquake in the region as a result of the Shah's leaving Iran.’ The Israeli press dwelt long on the material damage which our Zionist enemy suffered as a result of the Shah's departure. Our Zionist enemy is still talking about these damages which it suffered as a result of the Iranian revolution's victory, so naturaly we consider the victory of the Iranian revolution a victory for the Palestinian revolution.

That same issue carries the following solidarity telegram, dated April 19, 1980:

His Beneficence, Imam Ayatollah Khomeini:

Congratulations in the name of the PFLP's fighters and cadres and in the name of the Central Committee and in my own name. I emphasize for you and, through you, the heroic Iranian masses, our thorough and unlimited support and solidarity, with all our means and might, with you and your courageous revolutionary stand against the American imperialist taghut and its threats.

Americans economic measures, which aim at starving the Iranian masses shows what is behind the gold leaf of ‘humanism’ and ‘human rights’ with which Carter is trying to cover imperialism's ugly face.

These measures show just how voracious imperialism is now that the revolution of the great Iranian masses has delivered such repeated blows to its interests and prestige and pomp. American imperialism's voracity and its loss of its balance has recently reduced it to threatening its capitalist allies if they do not cooperate with it completely in its aggression and its fascism.

The more these measures taken out of imperialism's humiliation and its aggressive, exploitative, and greedy nature mount, the more they express the crisis of imperialism and the dead end it has reached and, on the other hand, humanity's growth in the peoples' movements and their struggles against imperialism, dictatorship, and exploitation.

We are completely certain, Your Beneficence the Imam, that the heroic Iranian masses will resist this new form of the on-going imperialist conspiracy and foil it, just as it has resisted and foiled the other forms, armed with the cohesiveness of your ranks. We are certain that the Iranian masses will continue and escalate their anti-imperialist struggle to rub its nose in the dust of Iran, just as the peasants of Vietnam and Nicaragua rubbed it in the dust of Vietnam and Nicaragua and just as other peoples will rub it in the dust of their lands until the peoples completely destroy imperialism and fill the world with true peace based on liberty and dignity and justice and equality between peoples.

I hope, Your Benefecence the Imam, to emphasize that we and the PFLP and the Palestinian revolution, we who have entered the struggle to liberate our our homeland against imperialism and Zionism and reaction, consider your struggle against the imperialist onslaught to be our struggle, and we will enter into it with you with all our resources and strength and with all our means.

We are united now, indeed, we are certain that all the downtrodden peoples in the region have turned to the Iranian masses, and all forces for peace and liberty and socialism in the world will consider your struggle to be their struggle.

Your courageous stance enjoys complete support from all the peoples of the world, for you are struggling on the land of Iran for these people so that the world can wipe out exploitation and violence and domination.

Our trust in your revolution and your steadfast position is unbounded.

Our trust in the victory over imperialism is unbounded.

Long live the great Iranian revolution.

At a May Day speech delivered at al-Hilwa refugee camp near Sidon, Dr. Habash had this to say about the Iranian revolution. After soliderizing with the Cuban revolution, he adds: p. 10.

What goes for imperialist plots to deal a blow against the Cuban revolution goes for imperialist plots to deal a blow against the Iranian revolution. This revolution requires of us that we thoroughly aquaint ourselves with the great accomplishments which it has achieved not just for the Iranian peoples, but for us in the Palestinian revolution and for us in the Arab world. It suffices to recall here what Begin himself said when he said that the Iranian revolution was an earthquake as far as his interests were concerned. It suffices to re-read what the Israeli press said about the damage Israel was suffering due to the overthrow of the Shah's regime in order to understand the meaning and results of the heroic revolution which the heroic Imam Ayatollah Khomein led.

The anti-imperialist revolution destroyed the regime of the agent Shah, the regime of SAVAK, it was an anti-Zionist revolution, a revolution which caused an earthquake for imperialist strategy in the region and because of it, we now find imperialist plans to strike at the Iranian revolution. These aggressive plans have now begun with the LWT [?] attack, and naturally, these American efforts to strike at the Iranian revolution will not cease. And so we hereby declare to the Iranian people, to the leader of the Iranian revolution, Imam Khomeini, that the true stance of the Palestinian and Arab masses is to support the Iranian revolution and not only that, but we declare, too, that whatever Arab regime is involved in a plot against the Iranian revolution is acting outside the will of the Arab people and is a traitor to it and it is important for me to state for the record that we fully recognize the obstacles standing before the Iranian revolution, we recognize them very, very fully, we recognize the meaning of dealing blows to the progressive and leftist forces and we feel grave concern for this regarding the Iranian revolution. We fully recognize the meaning of the revolution's not presenting a democratic solution to the national question and the minority nationalities based on their right to self-determination, but before this, we recognize that this revolution, now, is in a state of struggle against imperialism and reaction and Zionism. And what goes for the Cuban revolution goes for the Iranian revolution and all revolutions.

After these comments, he turned to the Afghan revolution.

After Dr. Habash spoke, Mostafa Sa'd, another PFLP leader, spoke, saying, inter alia, this about the Iranian revolution:

O brothers, O sisters!

The victory of the great Iranian revolution has been an awesome strategic support to the Arab struggle and its revolutionary forces. This revolution has become one of the greatest revolutionary experiences in the world, a true model of revolutionary transformation.

This great revolution declared its principles from the first day of its eruption and long before its victory, and the first of these principles was to struggle alongside the Palestinian Arab people and the Arab world against imperialism and Zionism to liberate Palestine.

Today, O brothers, is no longer the time of haggling and compromise solutions and gray colors. The nature of combat does not allow hesitation, and this is the time of revolutionary enthusiasm: Those who are against imperialism and Zionism are necessarily with Iran and its revolution, and those who are against Iran and its revolution have thus thrown their lot in with imperialism and Zionism.

The article then continues, denouncing the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria as "sectarian agents. It is exposed that the Muslim Brotherhood wants to pervert religion" and take Syria out of the camp of steadfastness.

Incidently, a reference to the Iranian revolution is reported in the issue of June 7, 1980, Al-Hadaf's coverage of Fath's Fourth Annual Conference. p. 9. It calls for "Strengthening militant relations with the Islamic revolution in Iran, which overthrew the most powerful fortress of American imperialism in the region and which stands with us in our struggle to liberate Palestine."

The PFLP and Iraq before the Iran-Iraq War

1) Iraq, Iran, and Habash's Comrades

Dr. Habash and his comrades have taken positions on internal developments in Iraqi politics over the decades. After the 1958 coup which launched the first Iraqi republic, under 'Abdul-Karim Qasem, Habash's Arab Nationalist Movement focused its efforts on Iraq. Kazziha, p. 37. Two of the ten Free Officers who led it quickly gravitated towards his Arab Nationalist Movement as an expression of pan-Arabism and Naserism. It denounced Qasem's opposition to Naser's pan-Arabism and called for joining a common United Arab Republic. It was able to carry out its oppositional activities openly in this period.

Although the Ba'th also opposed Qasem, it was more a rival than an ally of the ANM. Under the short-lived first Ba'thist republic (February-November 1963), the ANM branch in Iraq and its allies were forced into opposition by the Ba'thist drive towards a one-party state bent on resisting Naser's advances. They were severely repressed, and even anticipated possible liquidation at their hands. An aborted coup attempt by allied Naserist officers sealed their fate, and "a full-scale campaign was launched against the Movement." Kazziha, pp. 38-41, Batatu, The Old Regime and the Revolutionary Movements of Iraq, pp. 1014-1016, 1029-1030.

The Ba'th was driven out of power by a coup led by 'Abdul-Salam 'Aref in alliance with Naserist forces, which he kept on a long leash until the project of union with Egypt and efforts to duplicate Nasser's Arab socialist experiments fell through, when he reined them in, leading them to plot an (aborted) coup against him. Ibid., pp. 1033-1034.

The coup which returned the Ba'th to power in mid-1968 was met with "distrust or disapproval by many political forces." The regime it launched had a very narrow social base. The leadership tried to cultivate popularity through a policy of social and national radicalism. Batatu, pp. 1093-1096. A more critical view is presented in Farouk-Sluglett, Marion, Iraq since 1958, from Revolution to Dictatorship (London, 1987), pp. 137-40, 145-57. This radicalism was infused with heavy doses of paranoia, intensified by the fact that the regime did have powerful domestic and foreign enemies.

This noisy radicalism included a close allignment with the Soviets Marr, Phoebe, The Modern History of Iraq (Boulder, Colorado, 1985) p. 225. and (largely vocal) support to the most militant positions of Palestinian nationalism. Thus, the Ba'th pledged support to the Palestinian guerillas in their confrontation with the Jordanian monarchy in September 1970 (a pledge it never made good on Farouk-Sluglett, Marion, p.133-34. ). In early October 1974, it initiated and convened the foundating conference of the "Front of Palestinian Forces Rejecting Capitulationist Solutions," the Rejection Front, Batatu, p. 1096; Cobban, p. 149. in response to Sadat's signing of the Sinai disengagement accord with Israel after the 1973 war (a war in which Iraq barely participated Helms, Christine, Iraq: Eastern Flank of the Arab World (Washington, D.C., 1984), pp. 109-110, 149-51. These passages deflate very nicely Iraq's revolutionary rhetoric of the early 1970's, which is one reason why its embassy was distributing it in the early 1980's. ). Iraq was providing the bulk of the PFLP's funding, At least early in this period, as of 1970. See Quandt, "Political and Military Dimensions of Contemporary Palestinian Nationalism," in Quandt, William, et al., The Politics of Palestinian Nationalism (Berkely, 1973), pp. 63-67. although it also sponsored its own, small Palestinian front. In addition, the Iraqi leadership supported the rebellion in Dhofar and gave various forms of support to Iranian opposition groups.

By the second half of the decade, Iraqi strongman Sadam Husein apparently became disenchanted with his former policies. First, the Iraqi leadership "attempt[ed] to end its isolation in the Arab world and gain backing for its confrontation with Iran," which was bankrolling a dangerous Kurdish insurrection. The beating it took from this Iran-backed insurgence and the humiliation of having to sign the Algiers accord which ended this confrontation drove home the futility of indulging in incendiary rhetoric it was in no position to back up. The rise of Gulf Arab oil power and the demise of Naserism after Naser was an additional factor. Thus, the Iraqi leadership started mending fences with its neighbors, a process which was crowned in November 1978 with the convening in Baghdad of the Ninth Arab Summit. Its theme was resistance to the Camp David accords which were leading Egypt to making a seperate peace with Israel. There, Iraq was able to re-integrate itself into the Arab mainstream by posing as mediator between the confrontationalist Steadfastness Front, now backed by Syria, and the conservative Arab regimes, which prefered to block the peace agreement through quiet diplomacy. Cobban, pp. 100-101. "More than any other factor, Camp David propelled Iraq into the mainstream of Arab politics." Marr, p. 244.

Second, the Iraqi leadership had become disillusioned with the Soviets because they had not backed them during the life-and-death struggle with the Kurdish insurrection. Ghareeb, Edmond, The Kurdish Question in Iraq (Syracysem 1981), pp. 166-168. In addition, Sadam Husein had consolidated his power and had no further use for his troublesome Communist allies. By 1979, the regime was making speeches denouncing the "Soviet threat" to the Gulf. See Helms, p. 206-207, where the author eagerly lists Iraq's positions in opposition to Soviet policy in the period following 1978.

One by-product of Iraq's efforts to break out of its isolation was a convergence between the two factions of the Ba'th, the Syrian and the Iraq. This rapprochement began in October 1978 at the Baghdad Arab Summit and continued through the beginning of the Iranian revolution.

This political trajectory found its reflection in Iraq's relations with Iran. Thus, even before the Ba'th returned to power, the Iraqi government disputed the Shah over various issues. But, as one author notes, "The moderate Baath regime [i.e., the 'Aref regime], which was not very close to the USSR and which was seeking a detente with Iran, was overthrown by a coup d'etat and replaced by a radical Baath group. Before that, the chances of Iraq-Iran cooperation were fairly good, as was reflected in the visit of the Iraqi Premier to Tehran on 24 June 1968, when the questions of Gulf security were discussed. But the fall of the Aref regime dashed this spirit of cooperation." Singh, K. R., Iran: Quest for Security (New Dehli, 1980), p. 129. Iran's efforts to establish its dominance over the Gulf, a matter which became more urgent as the British withdrew in 1971; increasing Iraqi stridency over the issue of Khuzistan and its support to various Iranian opposition forces, from ex-SAVAK chief Teimur Bakhtiar to Islamic and Marxist radicals; Iran's intervention into Iraqi Kurdistan; confrontations over the Shatt ol-Arab boundary between the two countries; Iran's friendly relations with Israel and its willingness to sell oil to Israel and South Africa; and a host of other issues were intensifying sources of friction.

After the Algiers Accords of March 1985, however, in which Iran won a favorable settlement on the Shatt ol-Arab dispute in exchange for abandoning its Kurdish allies to their fate, "The degree of cordiality in thge relationship between Baghdad and Tehran for the next four years was a source of continual puzzlement to those who persisted in regarding Iraq as a satellite of the Soviet Union. When the Shah's fall became increasingly likely, the Ba'th began to make contact with the opposition, although the closeness of its links with the former regime could scarecely be concealed. When it came, the Iranian Revolution was evidently greatly unwelcome to Iraq, but Saddam Husain could do little more than recognise the new Iranian government." Farouk-Sluglett, p. 255.

2) Between the Revolution and the Outbreak of the Iran-Iraq War

We have no material on the PFLP's relations with the Iraqi Ba'th in the latter half of the 1970's before the revolution.

Just before the revolution, we have an article in the issue of January 13, 1979, p. 12. reporting on an apparently cordial visit to Iraq by a delegation from the PFLP headed by George Habash himself. They "held a series of discussions with Iraqi political leaders and leaders of the Arab Ba'th Socialist Party, including one with President Ahmad Hasan al-Bakr. They also met with Tariq Aziz, Sa'dun Shaker, Nasif Awad al-Dhawfi, and Mamduh Nasirat. Their discussions appear to have focussed on organizing opposition to Camp David and related issues, such as the Iraq-Syrian rapprochement. It is printed under a picture of a broadly smiling Dr. Habash and a very anxious-looking President al-Bakr sharing a couch.

Just after the revolution, an article appeared in the issue of March 31, 1979, p. 25. in the headline of which "Comrade Sadam Husein," with characteristic directness, declares, "Any Arab Ruler Who Doesn't Obey the Baghdad Accords Is a Traitor." At a meeting of Arab students, he accuses some of the rulers who sent representatives to the Arab Summit in Baghdad of being there to spy. "We must mobilize their people against them. We have to resources to help our Arab people in their mission to overthrow such rulers." He added, "We will mobilize the Egyptian people against the ruler of egypt and this is the correct and only way to save Egypt from its disaster." On other subjects, "The relationship between Iraq and Syria is not a tactical one." "The Iraqi army is more than big enough for the region's needs, it is determined to serve the [Arab] nation's interests."

An article appeared in the issue of April 7, 1979 pp. 20-21. on the Baghdad Summit's call for a boycott of "the traitor regime," i.e., Egypt, and the response of Arab reaction. The first third of the article list the Summit's resolutions. The article continues with an attack on the Saudi and allied positions, probably from an exaggerated perspective. Thus, they Saudis are said to have seen the Camp David accords as "an internal matter." They threatened to pull out of the Summit if it adopted a confrontational perspective and deplored the final resolution as an attack on "dear Egypt."

"As for the countries of the Front for Steadfastness and Resistance and Iraq, it was completely the opposite. These countries demanded the most severe sanctions against the Sadat regime and an immediate cutting of diplomatic relations with it." In this, they were joined by Yaser Arafat and the PLO.

An article appearing in the issue of July 7, 1979, pp. 60-61. commented on Iraqi Deputy President Sadam Husein's visit to Jordan, saying that it was an attempt to fortify the Jordanian position. It quoted an Iraqi press report which said that it was "to build a firm fighting front to confront aggression and usurpation."

That relations with Iraq remained friendly through the entire year is shown in the New Years telegrams sent to the PFLP from Egyptian, Sudanese, Jordanian, and Palestinian revolutionary groups based in Iraq, including one from the PFLP and PLO branches there.

A PFLP delegation visited Iraq between February 21 and 24, 1980, according to a report published in the issue of March 1, 1980. p. 13. It was headed by PFLP Deputy General Secretary Abu 'Ali Mostafa and 'Abdol-Rahim Maluh of the Front's Political Committee. It was greeted by deputy leader of the Palestine and Armed Struggle Bureau of the Ba'th National Leadership Nasif 'Awad, Palestine Bureau chief Majid al-'Abed, "and other members of the Palestine Bureau." They "discussed various political issues regarding the current struggle which concern our Arab people and the renewed actions of imperialism led by the USA in its alliance with imperialism and the Sadat regime to impose capitulation upon the Palestinian Arab people through its autonomy conspiracy." In conclusion, Abu 'Ali Mustafa stated, "The delegation carried out discussions with leaders of the Ba'th Party National Leadership, in which there was an exchange of views regarding current Arab affairs and imperialist and Zionist attacks on the Arab nation and its central cause, that of Palestine."

That something else was brewing is indicated in two articles which appeared in the issue of May 3, 1980, pp. 7-9. the first of a long veritable blizzard of denunciations of the Iraqi Ba'th regime which would follow.

The first was a declaration by the PFLP issued on April 25 in response to a Ba'th directive issued earlier that day demanding the expulsion of "twenty or thirty" PFLP members from Iraq and the closing of their offices. It mentioned that "The PFLP and the forces of the Palestinian revolution have been intent upon holding deep and calm negotiations with the Arab Ba'th Socialist Party and the Iraqi government regarding a series of political issues of importance and which were related to the struggle which our people has launched against imperialism, Zionism, and reaction, for Iraq's sake, trying to keep it from slipping into erroneous positions which would injure our Palestinian people and revolution.

The talks between the PFLP and the Party and government in Iraq focused on the following issues:

First, the position in the Steadfastness and Struggle Front:

In confronting Sadat's treason and the plans regarding Camp David, the Palestinian revolution has strived for unanimity of the nationalist governments around a program of confrontation and struggle against the Camp David accords and the Sadat regime. Iraq, like the Palestinian revolution, has strived for unanimity. Yet, the Palestinian revolution has failed to convince Iraq to take such a position, despite our constant warnings that straying from the Steadfastness and Struggle Front and resorting to other forms would dilute the strong position of confrontation to the Camp David ccords and the Egyptian government and give the Arab reactionary forces an open field to strike at the arab mases' steadfastness and struggle.

Second, the character of the on-going struggle in the region:

The Palestinian revolution's entire intentions were focused in its negotiations with the Party and government in Iraq, on the need to clearly preserve the strategic line on conflicts in the region and not diluting this line by adopting positions which don't fit this strategic line.

The Palestinian revolution, in its negotiations with the Party and the government in Baghdad on the need to keep clear the line of demarcation with the camp of the enemies of the Arab nation and on the fact that they are imperialism, Zionism, and reaction. Similarly, its has emphasized the need to entry the fight against these forces, for any intermixing between the enemy's forces and those of our friends will mean Iraq's straying towards positions which will not serve the forces of the Arab revolution and the Palestinian revolution.

The revolution's forces have warned of the danger of straying towards erroneous positions against the Iranian masses' revolution and the Afghan masses' revolution. It has emphasized the need for struggle against the imperialist presence in our Arab homeland and against the Zionist enemy and against the Arab forces of Camp David. Yet, negotiations never led anywhere.

Our strong desire to hold deep negotiations to prevent Iraq's softening in its positions did not serve the interests of our Arab masses and nation, yet, the negotiations, as we have said, led nowhere. In fact, Iraq has adopted resolutions recently which harm the interests of the Palestinian revolution and the Arab masses in Iraq and harm the entire struggle against Camp David.

The PFLP considers it important to emphasize in this context that it will stand by its duty towards the Arab masses and its chief issue, the liberation of Palestine and returning it to the Arab homeland, and that it will continue in the struggle against imperialism, Zionism, and reaction, and that it will continue in the effort to establish the loyalest relations with the Arab progressive forces and with the Steadfastness and Struggle Front to arouse the Arab masses to enter the struggle to overthrow Camp David. And it will continue in its efforts to deepen militant relations with the socialist camp and the progressive and liberation forces in the world.

Long live Palestine, free and Arab!

Long live our nation's struggle for liberation, progress, and unity!

An accompanying article reports on a press conference held by the PFLP militants expelled from Iraq upon their arrival in Beirut. Introductory remarks indicate that the expellees include both those who had settled in Iraq after the 1948 disaster and students who were studying in Baghdad University.

The first speaker is Abu Maher, organizer of the PFLP bureau in Iraq. He presents an analysis of the regime's moves against the Front. "The past year" has seen a rise in conflicts between Iraq's position and that of the Front. These differences "basicly centered around our understanding of the enemy camp and the friendly camp, where we believed that the camp of the enemy of the Palestinian people and the Arab liberation movement is represented by imperialism, Zionism, and Arab reaction, and there is no doubt an organic connection within this camp. We are unable to separate the constant plotting of Arab reaction with the imperialist camp, while the regime ruling Iraq has tried to work out a reactionary framework of Arab solidarity, and has tried to soften the idea of solidarity in the Arab and world context through its poisition on putting friend and foe in a single group and through its idea of struggle on the basis of being Arab or non-Arab. We believe that this idea does not serve the Palestinian cause. I want here to repeat what the Comrade General Secretary said: "Each foreign friend in the socialist camp is better than half the Arab rulers."

One basic issue which is a matter of sharp difference with the Iraqi regime is our position on the Steadfastness and Struggle Front, where we believe and will contine to believe that this Front forms a basic framework to confront Sadat's treason, that it forms a basic fromework to confront the enemy camp. The Iraqi government has tried to destroy this Front through its posing the framework of reactionary "Arab solidarity" which the Palestinian and Arab masses have seen so many difficulties because of. This solidarity which reminds us of the conspiracies of the Arab summits from which nothing emerged but talk and tricks and deception of the masses. We have demanded that Iraq enter the Steadfastness and Struggle Front if it indeed wanted to confront imperialism and its plots in the region. But the Iraqi regime tried to destroy this Front. This is one of the points which was a basic difference with the Iraqi regime.

Another point which formed a basic difference between the Iraqi regime was its position on the Iranian masses' revolution. For we believe that what happened in Iran led to the overthrow of one of the most important centers of the reactionaries in the region. So, one must give the revolution full support." But as for the Iraqi government, "We don't know of any clear and firm position of supporting the Iranian masses' revolution, this revolution which now faces imperialist conspiracies. The Iraqi propaganda apparatus considers it to be theatrics. The Iraqi propaganda apparatus depicts the hostage operation as to be theatrics. It is hard for us to understand such simple-mindedness.

In the mean time, we believe that the socialist countries and the Soviet Union stand with our struggle and the struggle of the Arab liberation movement, but the Iraqi government says that one must confront the foreigner and the aims of this Soviet Union. We don't understand struggles in the world on the basis of such narrow-minded fanaticism. The Soviet Union is the loyal friend of the Palestinian national struggle and the Arab liberation movement and American imperialism is our basic and primary enemy, and any act which obscures and misleads which places friend and foe in one group." This includes the issue of Afghanistan; the Palestinian revolution must support "the Afghan revolution and the friendly internationalist support from the Soviet Union for this revolution.

In this context, the "National Pact" is criticized for not saying anything about imperialism or Zionism, but only opposing "foreign" forces in the region.

The issue of May 3 carries a speech p. 14. in which Dr. Habash dwells on the break with Iraq at some length. After discussing the duty to support various struggles in the Arab world and oppose plots in the region against them, he continues:

It must be incomprehensible, then, that we want to start new battles. What has happened recently between us and Iraq, I want to tell everyone here, the relations which bind us with the Arab Front and the Lebanese Ba'thists are militant relations. We are anxious, for our part, at least, for us to be in the same trench. We are not kids, to make the mistake of picking a fight. What happened between us and the Iraqi regime is that the Iraqi regime is that during the Shah's regime, it never said a word about the massacre or the Shah's reactionary regime. But when the Khomeini regime arose, it picked a fight with it and became its national enemy.

It even blocked with a British agent against South Yemen.

He then attacked the new National Pact on the grounds that it was

based on an imminent threat from the Soviet Union. I read the pact three times, the first time, I couldn't believe my eyes! The word Palestine was gone, Camp David was gone, the word imperialism was gone. Whoever wrote the pact, whatever he was thinking about, was not thinking about Palestine, he wasn't thinking about Camp David, nor imperialism. What was he thinking about? He was thinking only about an imminent threat from the Soviet Union!

However, it was not we who severed relations with the Iraqi regime, but we respect principled questions. When they invited us to be present at the people's national conference which was held in Baghdad, we refused.

We are sorry that the Iraqi regime has turn to this sorry position. In 1978, it raised the idea of union [with Syria] and we were the first to applaud it. When Iraq takes a truly provocative position, of anti-Zionism, we will applaud it again. In the mean time, we remain with a clear position towards all who want to deviate the struggle from its correct target.

One news brief p. 36. in the issue of June 7, 1980 mentions an "escalation" of the "Iraqi security forces" in its "campain to expel our comrades in Iraq. About thirty four comrades have been expelled, along with their wives and children. This shows how far the ruling forces in Iraq have decayed in their hostility towards the Palestinian revolution."

Two other articles focus for the first time on Iraq's new ties with Jordan. The first is a news brief p. 37. which reports that a Jordanian officer revealed that "a number of Jordanian military experts who had taught in imperialist espionage schools had arrived in Iraq. The Iraqi army has no use for military instructors, for it has more than enough in the Jordanian army. What other use do these instructors serve? And against whom, this time," the apparent meaning being, against Palestinian activists, with whom they are used to dealing.

The third is a longer article p. 41. on the Iraq-Jordan "honeymoon," "a sudden and wide-ranging development." The article mentions the bustling traffic in high-level Iraqi officials going back and forth between Aman and Baghdad. It also mentions the increased economic relations. The question is, "What does each side want of the other and what are their intentions? The members and cadres of the Party foolishly try to explain this by saying that Iraq is trying to turn the Jordanian theater into a "fighting front" in place of the Syrian front!!! They mutter that perhaps the aim is to restore or strengthen situation of the Party, which has been trying to overcome the absence of relations in the few years pas. On the official and propaganda level, they say that they are trying to keep the King's regime from joining Camp David.

From the Jordanian side, though, we hear nothing but that tune about focusing on Jordan's economic needs and supporting its faltering economy and supporting Jordan's historical role "on the firing line!"

But close observers can make out the outline of the new relationship. "The Iraqi regime, as a number of facts indicate, has suffered sudden class evolutions due to an awesome accumulation of oil wealth and the fiscal response to it. This has created a class ofcapitalists, millionaires, and big exploiters." It has led to "over four billion dollars" being invested in the West and has developed trade ties with the West through its export of petroleum products there. This wealth has also led to "the foundation of an army provisioned with a massive arsenal, and, on the other hand, the construction of useless projects, such as massive hotels and other tourist projects." These projects place the regime "in the trench facing the progressive forces, identifying its interests more and more with the capitalist camp and the reactionary regimes in the Arab world, particularly in the Arab Gulf. Thus, this situation compells the regime in Iraq to play the role of striving for the leadership position in the region after Egypt's abdication of it, and in competition with the Saudi role" to form around itself its own Arab axis which could resist all challengers for leadership. "Observers and political circles in the region have noticed that Iraq has played a destructie role against the Steadfastness and Struggle Front" as mentioned in a previous article. "At the same time, it has moved towards a security alliance with the Saudi regime in the effort to encircle the progressive government in Democratic Yemen and prevent any mobilization of the masses in the northern zone of Yemen.

On the other hand, "the Jordanian regime is trying to rake in as much money from Iraq as it can, on top of what it is getting from the reactionary regimes to support and resuscitate its agents in the occupied territoris and creat an alternative to the PLO, after using this to prop up the regime and fill its pockets.

The King's regime in Jordan sees an immediate opportunity to ally with Iraq in supporting the forces opposed to the Syrian regime, as was recently confirmed by Syrian officials and newspapers, that Jordan is a base of the Islamic Brotherhood and that Iraq, which is itself in conflict with the Islamic Brotherhood, still sees the need to cooperate with it and indicate to them through channels outside Iraq to step up their attack on Syria.

As for the claim that Iraq is trying to keep Jordan out of the Camp David accords, this is mere apologetics to cover a position "opposed to the Arab and Palestinian nationalist and progressive forces." The Jordanian regime is merely biding its time until it can sell itself into the Camp David process at a higher price. "The Jordanian regime, which has benefited greatly from its ties with the PLO and the Iraqi regime during the Fourteenth PNC, is now trying to use its having broken out of its isolation, thanks to the PLO and the Iraqi regime, to launch into the formation of a reactionary axis dangerous not only to the Palestinian revolution, but to all Arab national liberation movements, and this calls for a sharp warning of and resistance to a Jordanian-Iraqi-Saudi axis."

The issue of June 14 carries a brief response p. 37. to an article in the Iraqi daily al-Thawra which, without naming names, attacked South Yemen and the PFLP, charging them with ties to Basque nationalists "who are fighting for their freedom and right to self-determination." The al-Thawra article indignantly demands to know (in tones reminiscent of the Shah's press regarding the PFLP and Iran) "Why does this Arab regime and this organization which claim to be concerned with Palestine intervening in Spain's internal affairs?" Al-Hadaf responds that this sort of thing is to be expected from a regime which opposes Democratic Yemen, POLISARIO, and the Iranian and Afghan revolutions "and is trying to form a reactionary Arab axis to crush the Arab mass movements. It is not unlike a regime which is doing nothing for the Palestinians and which claims that it is its "central issue," and is an enemy of the Arab masses and their nationalist and progressive forces to take such a position; rather, it is a natural result of its reactionary politics." And as for ties to Basque revolutionaries, "Democratic Yemen and the PFLP, and all forces which believe in scientific socialism and consider it their guide in their national and internationalist struggle, do not believe in exporting revolution, in the first place, but at the same time, they don't hid their internationalist solidarity. Revolutionary forces, to the degree that they are proud of their national struggles, are proud of their solidarity and their militant role on the international level, what of it?"

The issue of June 21 carries an article p. 26-29. which begins by stating that with the victory of the Iranian revolution, struggles broke out throughout the region, in which they include the Haram uprising in Saudi Arabia. This upsurge forced the reactionary Arab states in the region to make some democratic noises: Saudi Arabia, with its Consultative Council "accompanied by a massive propaganda campaign eminating from the American propaganda apparatus;" Bahrein has announced it intends to hold elections to a parliament; Kuwait, "which has been relatively democratic since 1972" announced plans to draft a constitution tailored to "the ruling comprador interests;" and, not to be left out, the Jordanian king has "appointed aconsultative council."

And now, it is Iraq's turn to give a current example of a "democratic" legislature and making a decoration of it in order to use it however the bureuacratic capitalist regime wishes and when it wishes." The regime prefers not to mention "the demonstrations, armed actions, strikes and slogans raised demanding political democracy and freedom of political action when it announced the ratification of a law for a national assembly.

The new regime's class character is reflected in its foreign policy.

It is clearly apparent in its position on the Iranian revolution and its support to hostile and conspiratorial activities organized by the United States. Thus, the Iraqi regime actively helped the Shah's last prime minister, Shapur Bakhtiar with seven million dollars. The regime works incessantly to organize a counter-revolutionary center, providing safe haven for SAVAK agents and the remnants of army officers plotting to return things to the way they were before the revolution (Palizban, Oveisi, Ardashir Zahedi, Shahpur Bakhtiar's repeated trips to Baghdad, etc.)

The article continues, denouncing Sadam Husein's policies on world revolutionary movements (the Basque, the IRA, Ethiopia, Afghanistan), oil price policies, its ties with French imperialism (with economic deals in the billions of dollars), etc.

In the Arab context, the article repeats the criticisms raised in previous articles, adding its "opposition to the Palestinian left," support to Somalia along with Saudi Arabia on the grounds of Arab solidarity. Of course, Israel was supporting Somalia's rival, Ethiopia. Iraq poses regional political issues in terms of their "Arab" character, neglecting the fact that the issue of Zionism is closely bound up with the imperialist presence in the region, and that there is no justification for a perminent alliances with, say, Saudi Arabia.

On the domestic front, Iraq is characterized as executing "a vicious fascist attack on patriotic and democratic forces in Iraq" and a policy of "ideological terrorism" as represented in the following resolutions passed by the Revolutionary Council: The death penalty for joining a political movement and not reporting it, %. The article protests "the prosecution of figures in the religious movements and the execution of everyone who has ties with some of its organizations such as the Da'wa Party, and the issuing of a law for the execution of anyone with ties to the Da'wa Party, to be applied retroactively." Other objectionable policies include "widespread evacuations which the reime has attempted in order to vacate zones between Iraq and Iran of population concentrations" beginning in certain Kurdish cities (not, incidently, identified as such) and ending in Basra. The article mentions that this is not the first time this had happened; in early April 1972 and, again, in late 1975 to early 1976, some 400 thousand were forcibly relocated. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have chosen exile, and Pakistanis, Indians, and Bengalis, deprived of any political rights, working in their place. The article continues, citing figures from Amnesty International. It concludes with an analysis of the Iraqi parliament.

The issue of June 28 carries an interview pp. 16-17. with Dhargham,a member of the PFLP branch in Baghdad. After the PFLP offices in Baghdad were closed on April 27, 1980, the authorities threated to deport him. The PLO representative in Baghdad intervened and demanded an explanation from Palestine and Armed Struggle Bureau official Na'im Hadad and Ba'th Party National Student Bureau official Kamal Fakhuri regarding threats to deport Palestinian students. He then describes his own arrest. They brought him, blindfolded, to the intelligence headquarters and threated to deport him to Jordan (and certain death) if he wouldn't say everything he know about the PFLP's activities in Iraq, their knowing for a fact that he was a member. They asked him about his relations with Iranian revolutionaries, and if the PFLP trains them to carry out military operations inside Iraq; about ties with the CPI and if they are training its members in order to drive the Ba'th out of power with it. They tried to get him to renounce the PFLP. When he refused, they packed him into a cell crammed with eight other people, with no air passage. After further interrogation, Dhargham demanded his rights under Iraqi law, to which his interrogator replied, "What do you know about law, here we do as we like." Dhargham adds, "Indeed, it was brought home to me after thirty four days of detention that what rules Iraq is not law, but a force which is terrifying to contemplate." His infuriated interrogators beat him and whipped his entire body with an electric cable.

As for Iraqi response to the closing of the Palestinian offices, he said, "I saw in the faces of the students and a sector of the intellectuals among the Iraqi people of various political perspectives, even some Ba'thists, revulsion and astonishment over what has come over the Iraqi regime. For example, an Iraqi Ba'thist student told me, "By God, it's becoming so that we don't know how yesterday's friend of Iraq becomes its enemy and yesterday's enemy becomes its friend." The Iraqi man in the street fears for his life. Iraq is now ruled by the intelligence and security agents; there is no role for the Party, nor the mass organizations."

Dhargham was expelled to Beirut, due to the intervention of the PLO, and thus lived to tell his tale.

Another article in that issue p. 33. reports collaboration between Iraqi and Jordanian agents against Palestinian activists in the Occupied Territories.

In the context of Jordanian sabotaging of Palestinian efforts at organizing against Israeli repression in the West Bank, "elements considered to be with the Iraqi regime" joined in to "disrupt" efforts to organize a broad front "when these elements rejected this effort because it proposed to support the Syrian and Iranian people and the Steadfastness and Struggle Front," although they were outvoted "by a crushing majority." These elements tried "to inject a clause about "Iraq against the Persians"," but no one would go along with it.

The article further raises the accusation that "the Iraqi regime has joined with the Jordanian regime on the basis of ruining any nationalist activity in Jordan." The Jordanian regime is releasing supporters of the Iraqi Ba'th, even while it continues its repression against other "progressive and nationalist elements." It reiterates the charge that both regimes support the Muslim Brotherhood and oppose the Iranian and Afghan revolutions. Finally, it accuses the two regimes of cooperating "of stealing Arab support in order to wreck our people's steadfastness and set up an alternative front in place of the PLO" with millions of Iraqi dinars.

The issue of July 26, 1980, features a speech by Dr. Habash pp. 14-17. on the 28th anniversity of the Egyptian revolution which toppled the monarchy. In the course of this talk, he objects to "all Arab regimes, without exception" not using their oil resources properly for the Palestinian cause, "whether it is an Arab regime like Iraq or not like Iraq, or Saudi Arabia."

In another speech, published in the issue of August 9, 1980, he says:

The problem with the Palestinian revolution is that the Palestinian people, in its struggle to liberate Palestine, instead of being supported by mass national democratic bases in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, finds itself supporting itself on reactionary governments conspiring with the imperialist enemy

So our chief duty as the Palestinian revolution, even if this duty doesn't yield immediate results is to expose the treasonous, conspiratorial role which the Arab regimes are playing." The Palestinian revolution "gets the people to rise up against these regimes and replace them with national democratic governments upon which the Palestinian revolution will base itself and swell its ranks with the movement of millions of Arab people for the liberation of Palestine.

This is the fundamental duty, it is up to us to act to achieve it, and the efforts to deceive the masses of our people will not last forever, and when, at the Baghdad Summit, they said they repudiated Camp David and that they were focusing their support on steadfastness and the Saudis became nationalist, praise God!

When the Baghdad regime became "the revolutionary regime," there has to be a criterion, a criterion clear to us and to the masses.

We will say what this criterion is for Palestine, and whoever achieves this sound criterion, will pray in Jerusalem, and whoever does not achieve it is a congenital liar who wants to mock us.

On the other hand, there is Khomeini, who spoke out for about twenty years and sent cassettes and did what he did among the people, this is wha the Palestinian revolution should be doing. Not having the Saudis buy us for so many millions, or some other country for so many millions.

He then challenges Iraq and the Saudis to put their money where their mouths are and fulfill this criterion, which he reveals as cutting off their oil sales to the Americans. Moreover, "Iraq has a million troops. Not only that, it announces it is fighting beside us and declares every day that it has fought and that it has so many martyrs, and all we have to say is, Long live Sadam Husein. After Iraq makes such profits, it is content with talk and doesn't cut off oil sales to America and doesn't send a million soldiers to fight as the Palestinian people fight. Our only conclusion from this is, despite their talk, you Saudi rulers and you Iraqi rulers, you have done nothing for Palestine."

The next article on Iraq appears in the issue of August 30, 1980. p. 38. It analyzes Sadam Husein's support to EEC "capitulationist resolutions" of the Arab-Israeli conflict after being visited by the EEC's current leader, Gaston Thorne. This, the article traces back to "the Baghdad Summit and Iraqi the policy oriented towards forming an axis with Jordan and Saudi Arabia to set up a firm base for a reactionary Arab alliance which includes among its duties a freeze in the developing revolutionary confrontations in the region as a whole."

Thorne announced that "Iraq believes that the basic condition to establish peace in the Middle East is Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Arab territories" and "not demanding harsh conditions for participation in local negotiations," something which the article considers "a coup in Iraq's position." It is "a complete annihilation of what was established at the Baghdad Summit, the Iraqi leadership of which called for a confrontation with Camp David and which stresed refusal to negotiate and make peace with and recognize the Zionist enemy, and stipulated Arab conditions to any soluion to the Middle East crisis, and which insisted on the transitional character of the Palestinian and Arab struggle to set up an independent state as only a step towards comprehensive liberation," itself a softening of the PFLP's previous line.

The struggle against Camp David and "the American solution" posed a choice for the reactionary Arab regimes: an all-out, sustained effort, i.e., "war against imperialist interests in the region" or "open negotiations with America and "Israel."" Not being inclined towards the first, and being unable, due to mass outrage to pursue the second, they have tried for a middle way out, however, "any scientific and comprehensive analysis of these regimes shows that their natural way is the way of negotiations with American imperialism and "Israel"" because of their close ties on many levels. Thus, the "European" option. "And the Iraqi position blends in with the European position and greets it warmly!!" The article continues, tying this position in with Iraq's soaring trade relations with the EEC, which went from $103 million in 1973 to $2,118 million in 1979, over two thousand percent in six years.

The article continues, exposing Sadam's covering his retreat with demagogic slogans such as "flattening Tel Aviv with bombs" in response to the annexation of East Jerusalem into Jerusalem. (The slogan's brutality, though, is never mentioned.)

The next mention of Iraq appears in a news brief in the issue of September 6, 1980 p. 21. on Iraqi financial support to the "every aspect of Jordan's economy."

In a front-page article in the issue of October 11, 1980, pp. 16-17. on the role of Jordan in America's policy of imposing a solution on the Palestinian question,

Iranian Domestic Politics from the Iraqi Invasion of Iran to Bani-Sadr's Downfall

Meanwhile, the clericalist Islamic Republican Party and Bani-Sadr's followers were approaching their mutual show-down of June 1981. Aside from the war, their concern for Bani-Sadr's fate would absorb most of their interest in this period.

Three dossiers appear in al-Hadaf in this period. Two are a serialization of a translation of an article by "an American Foreign Ministry official" which appeared in the U.S. Armed Forces Magazine "in 1979." October 11, pp. 23-30 and October 18, pp. 25-29. The third features an article by Fred Halliday, November 1, 1980, pp. 19-25. its source not being given.

The next two articles conern the hostage release. The first appears in the issue of January 10, 1980. pp. 42-43. It is introduced with the remark that "Iran needed to solve the hostage problem now more than ever for economic reasons (to end the freezing of Iranian assets, to have the Shah's wealth returned), in addition to the Western economic blockade, as well as because of international propaganda. The United States knows this. But it also knows that while Carter wanted to solve the crisis in any way prior to the election, at any price, the Iranian refused to negotiate." This was "weakening the Iranian revolution until it would become easy to finish it off and overthrow it." The article goes on to argue that, in fact, it was America which was stubborn in not conceding to the Iranians' demands, which had never changed. Other factors which weaken Iran's position was the war, now in its fourth month, and infighting between Bani-Sadr and the IRP, which "could have dire consequences." In addition, the local reactionary regimes have united against Iran and have been armed at an escalating rate by the United States, recognizing the threat posed them by Iran. This is all part of a policy of isolating Iran. "For example, Europe, which responded to America's enthusiasm for an economci blockade of Iran along with Japan, didn't break its silence over the war which Sadam launched against Iran, and didn't even denounce the strikes on populated cities with missiles."

As the article puts it, the hostage crisis "was at first a very successful demonstration against American imperialism, % by all international progressive forces, but its continuation in this way made it an obstacle to any Iranian development; indeed, it had been a strong point of the Iranian revolution at first, but became a dangerous weak spot, pre-occupying Iranian and international public opinion at the expense of everything else. As Bani-Sadr himself said, "Continuing to hold the hostages made Iran itself a hostage." Similarly, it gave the IRP prestige and made it more stubborn in this regard. On the other hand, it allowed the American administration the chance to prattle about a solution to the extent that it was able, in the end, to convince American and European public opinion that America had no solution but to engage in military intervention against Iran" and allowed Reagan to call Iranians "criminals" and "barbarians."

Ultimately, "Iranian officials came to understand the American game, and so changed the orientation of their explanations, while others, such as Ayatollah Beheshti or Ayatollah [sic] Rafsanjani stood their ground. On the whole, the Iranians modified their tone and maintained the essence of their former conditions to free the hostages.

IRP spokesman Hasan Ayat's recent statements well illustrate this orientation. He noted that the problem demands a long time to solve, and that he never threatened to try the hostages or present an ultimatum to Washtington, and said, "There is no need for an ultimatum. For we do not want to box the United States into a corner." And the Algerian mediators announced that they, too, were able to play a successful role in holding negotiations, so as not to give an excuse to the Americans to explode the crisis.

The issue of January 24 carries an article pp.32-33. on the hostages' release. It takes a different tack: instead of Iran bargaining from a position of weakness bordering on desperation, it is introduced with the comment that "for the first time in the history of the fworld, a small "wretched" Third World country has succeed in rendering impotent the chief of imperialism," that "the the American administration itself became hostage after it was not able to bully its way into a solution.

Yes, this event registered a triumph of the peoples' will... This will which forced America to negotiate. And, more than that, to submit to the conditions of a weak country which didn't have any power but the belief in the justice of its cause.

The article continues,

The issue was never one of the freedm of a few diplomatic representatives. The issue was greater than taking hostages. The issue was people paralyzing the American embassy and its spying representatives, paralyzing their conspiratorial intervention into the country and the embassy's spying role. They didn't have the strength to frontally resist this intervention, and so chose to take the hostages s a sympbol of American power and prestige. They challenged every attempt at threats and all mediation and al imperialist efforts to pressure them or to militarily intervene. It case fear and doubt into even American public opinion and played a role in ruinging carter's electon and became America's number-one problem. The problem became a dangerous threat to world peace and opened a daily-deepening wound in Western prestige. Despite this, Carter was not interested in going back on his word, and the problem continued and became a clear cause that it would explode in the hands of the kawboy in the White House, Reagan. The United States had to bow to Iran, the weak, small country which raised the slogan of war with imperialism and International Zionism as soon as it won. It showed that an unarmed people could defeat the repressive imperial monarchy, even if America stood behind it.

The war which Iraq launched against Iran has drained its military, human, and economic resources and forced one million three hundred thousand Iranians to leave their ruined homes" as refugees. In addition, there is the economic embargo against Iran "imposed by Western Europe and Japan to punish Iran for taking the American hostages." Thus, holding the hostages did not serve Iran any more, rather, their presence was becoming an obstacle from every angle," repeating Bani-Sadr's observation about Iran as hostage. The issue, in any case, had never been taking hostages, and so "everyone in Iransensed tyhe danger of the regional and international situation, and almost everyone was incapable of making a decision. Although the Consultative Assembly clearly mandated the government to negotiate over the fate of the hostages, it stuck to the conditions which the Assembly lay down. The government never had sufficient courage to take any step towards a solution, and never forgot the fall of Mehdi Bazargan's government, which happened because of the hostage taking.

Now the IRP, which is behind the Mohammad Ali Rajai government, was never enthusiastic about settling the hostage issue; indeed, its leadership has taken a hard line on this issue, i.e., they would not stop issuing threats about putting the hostages on trial and eventually executing them as spies, etc. Dr. Hasan Ayat and representative Mohammad Ali Hadi and Ayatollah Nuri were leaders of the hard-line faction. Ayatollah Nuri even distinguished himself with special declarations over a week ago about releasing the hosages to Tehran Times, saying that "If the hostages are released without trying them, history will record that Iran was duped," and so epxressed his refusal to proceed with speed on the hostage issue and demanded that they be tried for America's crimes before the world.

On the other hand, "Imam murshed Khomeini" urged Prime Minister Rajai to facilitate the negotiations. The hostage issue had served its purposes, and there was no more need to insist on their remaining any more, and the nation needed its property seiged in the Western banks and the wealth which the Shah had stolen. He immediatly gave Behzad For Behjat. Nabavi the right to negotiate an end to the issue. Doubtless some of the encouraging statements which Prime Minister Mohammad Ali Rajai issued and which indicated his interests and cleared the air in American politics was that whereas before, there was nothing in the Iranian statements except the constant threat to the Americans about trying the hostages as spies and convicting them, which would lead to their execution, the Rajai government's being given the green light to negotiate opened the way for a new phase of calm statements from both sides," giving the Algerians the possibility of acting as true third-party negotiators. It also showed that "the Iranian side was anxious to deprive Carter of playing the hostage card but rather to have this card be a punishment for Carter and a lesson to Reagan."

Iran's interests were shown most clearly in the Majlis debates, in which "Iran made known its need for its frozen assets and American military spare parts to use them to drive back Iraq's aggression against it, while the hard-liners categorically refused negotiations with the aim of a settlement which would serve Carter in his elections." Thus, "the Majlis did not vote to delegate the Iranian government [to negotiate the hostages' release] until after Reagan won the elections in order to depreive Carter of playing the hostage card during the election campaign. Indeed, the hostage card played a clear role in his defeat, and this, in the Iranians' opinion, was what Carter deserved." They further punished Carter by delaying their release until just after Reagan's inauguration, so that he would even be deprived of greeting them as president.

The final word goes to Mohammad Ali Rajai: "Freeing the hostages does not mean abandoning the policy of hostility towards American imperialism." The article comments, "He thus notes that the fight with imperialism is not over and that the fight over the hostages was only the beginning and the introduction in a prolonged war."

But giving the Prime Minister the final word does not mean their switching allegiance to him from Bani-Sadr. When George Habash presents greetings on the anniversary of the revolution in the issue of February 28, 1980, p. 5. it is addressed to Khomeini and Bani-Sadr:

On behalf of the Central Committee and the fighters and cadres of the PFLP, I sent to the Iranian people's revolution our utmost, sincerest, and warmest greetings on the occasion of the second anniversary of your revolution.

The Iranian masses' great victory, which brought down the Shah regime and overthrew imperialist repression in the region has been a powerful support for the fighting forces of the world which faced and are facing imperialism and its local agents. Your revolution represents a great victory and for the Palestinian revolution in particular, this revolution which fights against the enemy camp of Zionism, imperialism, and reaction.

Two years after your heroic victory, your Iranian revolutin faces grave dangers on the domestic and foreign levels from the remnants of the Shah's agents and from imperialism and its local agents. The Iraqi regime's aggression against Iran serves imperialism andits interests, intending to abort the revlution and return Iran to the imperialist sphere.

The successive danger which threaten Iran demand that it face them to solve secondary contradictions in order to achieve unity between the patriotic, progressive, and democratic forces in order to secure steadfastness in its confrontation with the chief enemies, namely, impewrialism, Zionism, and reaction, and this demands the guarantee of democratic liberties to the masses and their democratic representatives and parties.

The unity and support of national liberation movements and patriotic and democratic forces all over the world and their alliance and friendship with the the socialist countries is the precondition for victory over imperialism and defeating it.

We are confident that the Iranian masses who continue to defend the revolution and their democratic rights to be able to overcome all conspiracies and defend Iran will play a nature role alongside the forces of progress, democracy, and liberty in the world.

The Palestinian and Iranian masses are faced with a joint enemy represented by imperialism, Zionism, and reaction, and the victory of the Iranian revolution has strengthened the Palestinian revolution's position against the Camp David conspiracy and all its components. The Palestinian masses' heroic movement in the occupied territories has foiled the implementation of the autonomy plan, which the Palestinain revolution and the LNM have stood up to support the Steadfastness and Struggle Front, continuing in confronting the imperialist, Zionist, and reactionary conspiracies.

We are confident in our people's steadfastness and its determination to continue the struggle to set up a democratic Palestinian state, and we are firm in our belief in the certainty of our victory , relying on the complete support ofour allies and the liberation and progressive and peace forces throughout the world.

Once more, we sent your and the Iranian people our sincerest greetings and congratulations on the occasion of the second year of your victory.

Long live the Iranian revolution.

Long live the solidarity between the Palestinian and Iranian peoples.

Down with imperialism, Zionism, and reaction.

The issue of March 14, 1981, carries an article pp. 42-43. on the anniversary of the revolution. Opened with a full-page picture of a tumultuous gathering of Iranians under a giant poster of Khomeini, the article runs through the standard condemnations of the Shah's regime—SAVAK's repression, the corruption, its behaviour as local cop, its ties with Israel—and what the revolution against it represented: it "snatched away the mask of "Islam" from the deceitful regimes, particularly Saudi Arabia, and presented a new kind of Islam and a revolutionary Islamic leadership."

On the other hand, all the revolution's foes went into action: "the enemy from within, the Gulf regimes and imperialism." Imperialism intervened on "the pretext of the hostages." After all else failed, "there only remained to provoke local elements to launch a war, covert and overt. And thus, Iraq launced its war on behalf of all the reactionary forces, against the Iranian revolution to bring it to its knees and bring about an explosin from withing." But all this did was to strengthen Iranian resolve and "expose as spurious the Iraqi regime's claims to be fighting against the Arab nation's enemies." Indeed, it had withdrawn from "the Arab nation's sacred , basic battle, the battle to liberate Palestine. History will record that all the reactionary Arab regimes were against Iran when the Arab nation and its fighting forces were with the Iranian revolution and against the unjust war which was launched against it."

The article concludes with a "criticism from a position of responsibility and solidarity:"

No sincere person can demand that the Iranian revolution live up to its promises in a short time and uproot an old society from what it had inherited on the basis of saying, "Do it, let it be done."

But everyone who is in solidarity with the Iranian revolution and conders it the fulfillment of a historical revolution has the right to be afraid, and from the perspective of revolutionary responsibility and solidarity, he sould ask at least for an explanation of the nature of its future program, domestically or internationally, or, in other words, its plans to turn the revolution into a revolutionary government, meaning making choices which can neither be postponed nor disregarded.

The revolution has fulfilled a historical mission, and it must follow a course of radical measuresor it will stop in its tracks or turn back. Just as this was a revolution against the Shah, the revolution's methods of rule must be against those of the Shah's rule, domestically and abroad.

February 11 is a great anniversary. The Iranian revlution's victory which overthrew the Shah's regime, that nighmare which haunted not only the Iranian people, but the region as a whole.

February 11 is a great anniversary. Greetings to it, to the Iranian revolution, which turned the Israeli embassy into the Palestinian embassy.

The issue of March 28 carries an article p. % on the political infighting between Bani-Sadr versus Ayatollah Beheshti and Mohammad Ali Rajai. As usual, it councils unity and compromise and portrays Khomeini as the agent who will enforce this: it begins, "Once more, Imam Khomeini has put a stop to the differences which threaten to explode into a bloody struggle in Iran. He met with Iran's political bosses and gathered them in the hoseiniyeh in Tehran to lay before them their responsibility to be united in word and deed." Khomeini called on them to stop their verbal attacks on each other and the formation of a tripartite committee to resolve their differences.

Yet the differences are mounting. Khomeini had been able to play a unifying role at critical times, such as after Iraq's invasion of Iran, or in resolving the hostage crisis, or during the current troubles.

"How is one to look at the state of Iran? What are the dimensions of the power-struggle? Where will it lead? These are questions which those concerned with the Iranian revolution have asked dozens of times." The answer: "Things are on the point of exploding, and no one knows what catastrophe will follow. Today, Imam Khomeini is able, today, to deal with the country's problems and power-struggles and get everyone to unite and threaten whoever doesn't. But who will fulfill this role tommorrow? And how can this crisis be gotten out of in this way?"

The article argues against those who say that the first stage of a revolution is pluralistic and democratic, and that when the revolution is established, it merely replaces one dictatorship with another. It argues that dividing the history a revolution in this way is a static and non-dynamic explanation. One has to pay closer attention to the dangers which actually threaten the revolution, as well as what kind of revolution it is:

A revolution which grows out of the slogan of Islam, i.e., [Islam] serves as a tool to understand and a course of action, differs from those prevalent in the modern world. It only deals in two contradictory ideas: Right or Wrong. This is the outlook of the revolution's Islamic leadership, particularly that of Imam Khomeini.

"The weapons used in the struggle over power, despite their mass impact, the last word and the ultimate power remains with the Imam, who not only has unlimited rights, but these rights have become laws which the people have voted for and imbedded into the Iranian costitution. He is the real power, which neither the President nor the Prime Minister can shake."

In concluding, the article argues that every revolution has its own laws of motion, and, in any case, "It is the Iranian masses, who overthrew the most brutally repressive power, the Shah's, which has chosen its leadership and determined its course. And it is they who now understand their whole struggle, % , religiously, and politically, or even at the summit of power, unity in Iran is greater than division.

Once more, al-Hadaf sent a reporter to cover events in Iran, now less than a month from exploding completely. In the two or three weeks the reporter spent in Iran, he or she conducted interviews with President Bani-Sadr and Ayatollah Taleqani's daughter, the latter, I believe, more because of her late and revered father than because of her own pro-hezbollahi politics.

The interview with President Bani-Sadr appears in the issue of May 23, 1981. pp. 38-40. It begins with the interviewer's comments:

It is not easy to meet with Iranian president Abol-Hasan Bani-Sadr, for he is busy at the front with his responsibilities as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. He only comes to Tehran for two days, despite his being president. He works until one in the morning. In any case, hetold us to wait for another time, and this time arose at night in Tehran, and in his home. We began the interview with him talking abouthe war and its political impact inside Iran.

He responded: One can say that the political situation in Iran is not very good. There is not enough harmony in the republican institutions, but this situation cannot be compared with the situation under the dictatorship, for at least here, the efforts of numerous groups to impose their positions, the public is in motion and this is what makes us continue to see reality and persevere. Despite this situation, it is not an obstacle to the development of our military position—on the contrary, this made us want to turn these negative attitudes into positive attitudes in the fighting front, where we wanted to creat greater movement among our armed forces. I addressed members of the armed forces and said to themn that surrender to the political atmosphere which has many negative elements, including doubt in the army, means our damaging the war and life together, and that you should rise above this negativism and use this opportunity to enrich your thinking and raise your spirit of sacrifice and you will win in this war. This unity will erase doubt from you. And this is what is now happening. Our military situation has undergone a great imporvementduring the past weeks, and you yourself have seen our situation at the Western front and on the Qasr-e Shirin heights and the Iraqi prisoners who were victims of Sadam's war against our republic.

Q: But Mr. President, the continuing differences and those accusations against you, from government elements and [I]RP elements alike, about your influence on the state of the army as commander of the armed forces, what is the truth about these charges, particularly the charge of liberalism?

A: There are many charges you mention, and they are fabrications, including the charge of liberalism with which they try to impune me. They do not know what it means. Both on the political and on the economic level, we have positions which conflict with their plans, which I believe to be un-Islamic and, in fact, in the service of an orientation towards the United States. In fact, I represent the people. And I reject the perspective of repression and I believe that it is freedom which maintains the people's spirits. And they make these charges against me. For examle, I wrote Tawhidi Economics, and it conflicts with the philosphy of capitalist economics based on liberal freedom. Perhaps you have noticed this year's budget. There was the issue of imports and the trade sector and so on, expressing their way of thinking, which is liberal thinking in its essence and which leads to dependence on the West. We are working towards independence and freedom. The victory which we want is one in the service of the abased, which would provide them all with a dignified life, fundamentally different from what I believe is occuring on this basis.

Economic liberalism in our societies (non-industrialized, based on capitalism) will not lead naturally to political liberalism, but to the basis for authoritarianism, to political autocracy, and under the cloak of religion, etc. Our situation points to the fact that Iran would be mistaken in demaning a strong government with an apparatus to match. Our revolution, our government has not taken on its final form yet, so some of our foundations and apparatuses have been thrown into disorder. But we will not be brought down by these setbacks, rather, we will join in a jihad for the sake of our revolutionary goals.

Q: Sadam says that if you disagree with him in having a cease-fire, he will dismember Iran and occupy certain [of its] land. How do you interpret his words?

A: Sadam talks a lot, but he is not able to do even a little bit now. How can he threaten us when his forces are unable to do a thing? In fact, he seems weak to us because of these threats, for the strong never threaten in this fashion. Wasn't Iran in America's hands? But we fought it and won and are still winning, for long years. Sadam's threats against us are like those of someone who threatens a duck with being thrown into the water. Our situation at the front is constantly improving and Sadam's condition is one of constant retreat, and time will tell, and the hollowness of his claims and threats will become manifest.

Q: Mr. President, let us return now to an important internal problem, i.e., the Kurdish issue in Iran. There, forces which raised arms against your revolution and its victory. They noticed their error and were trying to remedy the situation. How do you see the possibility of a solution to this problem?

A: There is no fanatical understanding regarding other nationalities there. We see the Arab, the Turk, the Baluch, as examples of a whole and not as agents of dissension. The unity of these peoples centers around a joint basis, i.e., unity towards joint relations between each of them. The appearance of a tendency towards separtism is condemned to disapper, when we stand firm on the idea of unity. The experience of Khuzestan is a good example of this. Sadam posed the national question and believed that the Arabs of this province would stand with him when his armies entered the region, but he got the opposite. The Arabs stood aup against him. They attacked him and fought his army and this matter suprised us all. This event taught us a historical lesson. The joint heritage between us of thousands of years is stronger than Sadam's nationalist plan. And the same with the Kurds. The agent of unity is stronger than the agent of separatisim, and the way to solve this problem is on the basis of these nationalities feeling that we see their issues as they see them. We do not object to the Kurds' demands for autonomy, but some are trying to exploit this position in the interests of foreigners, and to strike at the country's unity and get them to separate from it.

Q: Some events are occuring in the Gulf region. For example, the GCC and the support of these countries for Iraq. This goes with feverish American activity in the region. How do you interpret the goals of these actions?

A: The efforts which some countries in the region are making are part of the general international activity to restor the political map after the victory of the Iranian revolution. Iraq, when it attacked Iran, thought that the matter would be settled after a few days, intending to become the number-one force in the region and the center of an axis for the small countries, just as was the Shah. The Middle East crisis would have an American solution. Since Iraq failed to succeed, i.e., it was unable to become such an axis, they went to Saudi Arabia and made it an arms depot, taking advantage of Iraq's weakness. It then intervened in their regional differences and they were under Saudi rule. When we win this war, everything will change and the plans will be turned upside down. This victory will be in the interest of the Iraqi people and our people and the Palestinian people and all the peoples of the regions.

But, despite this, there are internal contradictions between thecountries of the region and all of them are in an arms race. It has become apparent to me that the countries of the region are trying to establish military parity with the Saudis. This business will lead to turning the regioninto the greatest powder keg in the world. On the other hand, this will compose a false trade for weapons merchants and all this will not be in the interests of the peoples of the region, of course, and, in particular, it will put the Palestinian people between the two millstones of the Egyptian-Israeli alliance and the Gulf [alliance], and this will place the whole region under American domination.

Q: Mr. President, you have so far not taken a clear position on the issue of the Gulf and the three islands. It is not so important in regard to your internal situation, but in regard to your situation in the region, it is very important. The enemies of the Iranian revolution are trying to distort your revolution and take advantage of such rifts. What is the situation as you see in at present?

A: [The Gulf] has many names. Sometimes they call the Gulf Persian and sometimes Arab, and, after the revolution, it was proposed to name it the Islamic Gulf. The custom of naming does not change in essence the matter, except in its name. Are we to fight over a name? Let them put any nme they want to on it, this does not concern us in the truth of the matter. But the content, this is the prime issue. But the Gulf, regardless of its naming, is now American,neither Arabic nor Persian, for it is America which is its sole beneficiary. So, why these differences and their escalation over a naming? Why not unite our forces to drive the Americans out of this region and then the peoples of the region can decide themselves everything pertaining to them. It is clear to me that they want us to fight each other over insignificant issues to keep us away from theessence.

As for the islands, those who pose this artificial issue know that it is of no economic importance. Rather, they will actually cost money whether they are under Iran or the Gulf sheikhs. It is a strategic issue. The issue is in the first place, who will run them?

If they stay with us, they will be considered a threat to the West and the Gulf sheikhs who cooperate with it. If they are with the sheikhs, they will use them as American bases.

Whenever this land is united and such difficulties do not exist, imperialism comes and tears us apart, creating such difficulties, names, etc. The islands were conquered by the ex-Shah of Iran and this has been protested in some form by Sadam. After the revolution, events arose and he stirred things up again. For, he wants to turn them into bases against us and to threaten us. If these islands were in his hands during the outbreak of the war Sadam declared against us, they would have been centers of military attacks against us.

So we, the peoples of the region, say that it is up to us to unite and decide our fate ourselves and demand that the super-powers leave the region, and this unity will settle the issue. The issue of to whom the islands belong will not be important. For we, as peoples, will have no differnces and there will be no conflict between us. For we are united peoples. And this land is part of the Islamic world.

The issue of May 30 carries an interview pp. 46-48. with A'zam Taleqani, rather hopefully titled, "With the Veil, But Not Forcing It." Although one strongly suspects the journalist's interest in interviewing her is mostly due to her being Ayatollah Taleqani's daughter, she is introduced in the article as an Islamic woman's organizer under the Shah just before the revolution and a representative in the Consultative Assembly, and only then as "the daughter of the great mojahed, Ayatollah Taleqani, one of the greatest thinking and struggling clergymen in Iran, distinguished by his tireless activites for the poor of Iran." Of the substance of A'zam's responses to the questions, it must be said that they are no different than any of dozens of speeches and articles she's issued since the revolution, and I only feel some slight obligation to summarize them because the interview represents an interesting clash of two perspectives.

The first question mentions her background as having suffered torture under the Shah and witnessed the revolution and the sacrifices made for it, and asks her to describe the role of women in the revolution and to offer her thoughts about what role they were playing after the revolution. She modestly replies that there were many nameless women who suffered and struggled more than she and underwent greater torture, who spent years in prison, and of whose names she can only remember a few, but that when she entered Tehran prison, there were 300 female prisoners in it alone, mothers with their children between seven months and ten years of age, some with up to seven children, some over fifty years old, all accused of participating in the armed struggle against the Shah, some were 15 to 17 years old, and had been tortured. She wanted to tell the aware press the truth, that hundreds of women fell in the struggle on Black Friday and their bodies thrown into the river. Warming to the theme (please pardon my cynicism on such a grave subject!), she describes women with their babes in arms not being spared by the Shah's troops and claims that "more than ten thousand were martyred on Black Friday."

Women had participated in the Tobacco Boycott, in the Constitutionalist Revolution, "and some historians record that some women fell martyrs during this revolution, dressed as men, and in addition to this, when the Second Majlis after the Constitutionalist Revolution was convened, some women concealed weapons under their clothes and entered the Majlis and threatened the President of the Majlis and the representatives that they would kill all who voted for any unpatriotic accord in the interests of foreigners."

The next question asks about "Iranian women's role in the revolution as wives, sisters, and mothers." A'zam replies that, indeed, yes, "some militant women presented their sons and husbands as martyrs" or got their male relatives to participate in the revolution. This, in fact, "was an important factor" on the people's consciousness.

During the revolution, women went shoulder to shoulder with men and carried their children for many kilometers in mass demonstrations," and this insistence by women played an important role in bringing the monarchy down, encouraging men to participate.

After the revolution's victory, there was an important political change in their status. Some of them joined the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps or the komitehs or the anjomans. Similarly, there were changes in their social status both in and outside the home, naturally for the better, but the Iranian woman has not yet achieved her full rights. There still remains a long, long and arduous road ahead of her, to what I believe is the achieve this goal. This needs an Islamic woman's movement to contribute its efforts to win. The woman who struggles for her freedom is on the way to winning her rights herself, for all things in life need struggle to win their rights themselves. I believe that womans' rdights are inseparable from man's rights, i.e., that their status is obviously related with the status of the new society. Our Guide, Imam Khomeini has a positive view regarding women in our country. He recently emphasized their role and status in our society on Muslim Woman's Day, on the occasion of the birth of Fatima Zahra.

The next question concerns woman's role in the war. A'zam reports that when the war started, women demanded weapons training. In the recent fighting in Qasr-e Shirin, women were in the front lines, treating the wounded. In addition to their medical role, "they participate with their husbands or sons in the fighting at the front" or in victualing the troops, "especially in 'Abadan and Khunin Shahr (formerly Khorramshahr), The former is spelled according to the Arabic, and not Iranian form. The latter city, called by Arab nationalists by its old name, Mohammara, was re-named the City of Blood after its occupation and reduction by the Iraqi invaders. where they dug trenches and planted mines with the men or encouraged the men to fight courageously. This was their special and important role during the past weeks of warfare." She continues listing activities, none of which would call for any of the weapons training demanded at first. She ends her comments, stressing woman's role "in our war against unbelief in Islam" (!).

The next question concerns "Western propaganda and those influenced by it in some of our countries" who "claim that the current status of women in Iran represents a retreat. With your qualificiations as head of the Islamic revolutionary woman's society and as member of the Islamic Consultative Assembly, how do you see the status of women now compared to the Shah's time?"

In response to this question, she demurs, saying that she is not really the head of the the association, but a member of its collective leadership organized four months before the revolution's victory. As for the substance of the question, Western propaganda "touches on our weak points, or what they call [weak points], and is unable to see the positive things women have so far achieved with us. Imperialism and Zionism spend millions of dollars on propaganda which accuses the revolution of being reactionary. The purpose of this propaganda is to make our people despair of the revolution. But the people know the truth about this propaganda and the motivations behind it, and pay it no mind, except some naturally weak spirits. Our people, who have made such sacrifices, are absolutely not ready to retreat from the revolution. We are completely different from the West in principles and beliefs, and this difference with the West is fundamental and final and historical, and it is ever-present in our ideology and our beliefs and our spirituality. We do not believe in life in accordance with material criteria and as a means of satisfying animal lusts. We see life as struggle and as action." The divine characteristics they possess suffuse their education and consciousness, "until we unite, through them, with God, praised and exalted. Approaching God means that we make a good and blessed life and that our life qualities develop." Humans are endowed with choice, and can choose "the way of guidance or the way of unbelief."

The interviewer then asks if there are, in any case, any negative aspects, which the West has pointed out. In response, she admits that "we have some weak points and problems, and we criticize them. Our criticisms naturally arise from the positions of the sisters and "enjoining the proper and forbidding what is wrong." A Koranic injunction which urges the faithful to, in this context, offer constructive criticism within, of course, the Islamic framework. This is, in fact, one of our responsibilities towards the revolution," to protect it from deviating from its principles.

As for the West, it will not succeed in watering down the revolution's principles in the end, although "it will probably impose some partial setbacks. But I emphasize that we will not be defeated. The losses which the West and its followers see, according to their ideas, we don't see from our perspective. Under all circumstances, we will revive our essence and our free character."

After she has continued in this vein for some time, the interviewer asks, more specificly, about internal confrontations in Iran after the revolution over the veil and "the attempts of some to impose it, despite the fact that "there is no compulsion in the Faith."" A Koranic statement. To this, she replies, first, that the chador does not, in fact, limit "a person's" freedom, but quite the opposite, and that the Koran enjoins modesty upon both man and woman. It is necessary because men and woman have a human mission in their social dimension and are not simply a bundle of animal traits, as they are seen in the West.

The West focuses its hostile propaganda on this aspect, but they have their own problems. "And as for compulsion, I have protested against the imposition of the veil, emphasizing public education for society for both men and women throughout our entire Islamic Republic. We understand that women and men, as responsible individuals, will safeguard their characters and respct their human traits. As for the "protesters," they will come our waythemselves and will wear the veil and we will guide them to this path. So, I have protested compulsion, and, indeed, our religion has emphasized this for the Muslims. This reminds me of the attempt to impose unveiling on us by Reza Khan in Iran and Kemal Ataturk in Turkey. Their source was imperialism and their culture, Western, and we must stand against imperialism, and this, by keeping the veil." The annectote about the veil being used to conceal weapons and books during the Algerian civil war applies to Iranian women, as well. On the social level, it is a barrier to licenscious behavior. But compulsion is an affront to Islam and the concept of the veil.

Finally, the interviewer asks her to comment on the similarities in the situation of Iranian and Palestinian women, at which point she sends her greetings to her Palestinian and Lebanese sisters and expresses the feelings of Iranian women for her "sisters throughout the world to shed Western and animal superficialities and return to their human nature," and expresses their eagerness to establish relations with them. For Islam is an international religion, not limited to one region alone. She invites Palestinian women to visit Iran and see for themselves what Islam is accomplishing.

In the issue of June 20, 1980, an article pp, % , appears entitled, "What Is Happening in Iran?" It begins:

The council of three has condemned Bani-Sadr and Imam Ayatollah Khomeini removed him from the leadership of the armed forces, the members of the Party of God and the IRP are holding demonstrations against the President in the streets and the Consultative Assembly is discussing his citizenship. The end of the matter is that the Imam asked him to stay on, provided that he make a public apology.

In recent weeks, there has been hot news reported by news agencies with great interest and astonishment, and we find our selves suddenly faced with the question concerning what is happening, "Is the Iranian revolution going through a new phase? And if so, where? And how?" The question is being raised in Iran, and the press and news agencies and secular revolutionary forces are asking about the situation in Iran. That country, which has been able to dominate international events for the past three years, has re-appeared, but in a new form, not the one in which the Shah who dreamed of a Persian Empire extending over neighboring countries. This country is known for its people's revolution led by the clergy to eliminate this empire and overthrow the Shah and have Iran manifest new and radical stands, such as its stand with the people and against imperialism and Zionism. This is what makes the events in Iran particularly challenging.

Today, the revolution is not suffering a change in its course or positions, but a change at the highest level of government, and leading to a grave situation for the revolution itself. The contradictions between the different sides in the internal struggle have sharpened, and the level of the fighting between them has risen to a degree approaching the certainty that they are no longer committed to the teachings of the religious Guide which might bring the two sides together. The struggle has had grave repercussions leading to the diversion of the revolution from its true aims, even if it chooses more radical goals. These warnings leave the Arab revolutionary nationalist and international force no alternative but to speak their mind. Thus, understanding the current events in Iran and what is happening there will only be from the standpoint of complete support to the revolution in its resolute struggle against the forces of backwardness and imperialism. But this does not necessarily mean to deal harshly with the situation in Iran, which is registering negative points, and matters today are predominantly negative. For, the Iranian revolution has announced since its inception its stand with the Arabs on its central cause. Similarly, it has declared itself as a powerful ally of the Arab national and international liberation forces, and from this standpoint of alliance, a positive relationship is based on alliance-criticism-alliance, Or, in the Maoist argot, unity-criticism-unity. and, based on this, and from the standpoint of the revolution, it points to the negative features, hoping that they might be overcome.

What is going on, then? What is happening and since when and why? These are the fundamental questions posed and which we will try to answer in this article. It would be useful to begin with a discussion of what is happening, first, and why.

What is happening in Iran are not new. The struggle is going on between two factions of the government; we can't even say government and opposition. This struggle has been going on since Bani-Sadr's victory in the presidential contest, up to this time. This government is unique in kind: The president lacks a parliamentary majority, and the parliamentary majority does not have the support of the president. On this basis, the struggle between the two highest parts of the government in the country are tearing apart the political foundations of unity even in the direst context (the hostage crisis, the Iraq-Iran war) and it is getting to the point where nothing can settled without the Imam's intervention. The ministries have limited legitimacy. The same with the presidency. And the parliament supports the Prime Minister but does not dominate the President's will. Thus, government is in a whirlpool, every issue starts a viscious circle, until the Imam settles it.

This fighting never ceased until the news of the fighting was supressed or when the Imam stepped in, and each time the fighting approached a solution, there would be a sudden pause to record some praises of the general situation, awaiting the first opportunity. And so, the embers burned under the coals, until the arrival of more news. Iran is experiencing for the first time limitations on freedom of the press. The Judicial Council has closed five newspapers, including Islamic Revolution (Enqelab-e Elsami), which supports the President. Along with this—and this, too, for the first time—was the arrest of the President's legal advisors. The three-man committee condemned Bani-Sadr and accused him of violating the constitution, but matters didn't end there. Imam Ayatolah Khomeini—again, for the first time—intervened not to put an end to the struggle, as usual, but to speak his mind, which lent the struggle a special dimension, and he stood alongside the clergymen who condemned Bani-Sadr. And so we say that the struggle grew in scope and went beyond its natural character of returning to a resolution. No doubt, the key to understanding how Iran sees these events is in the issue of the war, and whether the resignation or dismissal of President—as some say—would help in delivering the Iranian political scene from its chaos, or would it result in the opposite. As quick look at the past will bring the picture more into focus.

It is difficult to describe with certainy who started the latest escalation of the crisis in government, for each party of the struggle puts the blame for events on the other side. It seems imposible to know the absolute truth. We will deal with what happened as it was, and not as either side saw it. We will now take up the source of the crisis and the beginning of its deterioration.

Some believe that the beginning of the escalation happened on June 1, when the Ministry of Information fired eight aides working in television. This got 300 employees working in Channel Two to declare a strike against the firings, which spread throughout the department. This matter resonated with the masses, when the newspaper Islamic Revolution clearly expressed the position of the strikers and those fired.

On the other hand, the streets of Iran, after this, witnessed notable activity in the form of daily fights between Bani-Sadr's supporters and the Hezbollah, leading, naturally, to a doubling in tensions. After these clashes, which occured almost daily, came an attack on the press run by Bani-Sadr and the leftist and liberal press, which emphasized, in a series of articles, the likelihood of the revolution's falling into the hands of despotism and the fear of a return to dictatorship, something which infuriated the clergymen and so, had an impact on the Committee of Three, which, along with the Judicial Council, called for a trial of President Bani-Sadr. This attack itself had a clear impact on the position of the Imam, who never protested the closing of the five newspapers or the issue of the attacks on Bani-Sadr. The IRP, for its part, mobilized its followers. The situation of Bani-Sadr's supporters % and in the streets surpassed the bounds of those struggles in the official institutions, the responsibility for which surely lay with one side and not the other, and doubtless with the Consultative Assembly, the ministries, the Revolutinary Guards, and other official agencies. It is coming to the point where what is happening is a matter of debate, and naturally, in Iran, as for any country living through a revolution, words lead to words, and the level of tension rises.

It is clear that the President has erred in his management of the struggle. The prevailing public view is for Bani-Sadr's dismissal. Even Bani-Sadr's appointee in the Committee of Three, Hojjatoleslam Sahhab od-Din Eshraqi, refrained from defending him and, in an article published in the press, called for wisdom. Then events went beyond this, when Iranian judges ruled, on June 2, that Bani-Sadr's legal advisor, Manuchehr Mas'udi, should be arrested, this having been preceeded by the arrest of one of Bani-Sadr's advisors in May 17 on non-political charges. 15 other people close to Bani-Sadr were imprisoned in Evin For Amin. Prison in Tehran.

It was then that the crisis became grave, and it became more serious still after the Imam's appeal to Bani-Sadr to make an apology over the radio, his refraining from doing this, and, following this, the Bani-Sadr's public distribution of a message to the Imam in which he refutes the charges which they'd made against him. And now, we pause a little to look into some conflicting views about the aggravation of the matter and the Imam's steping in to resolve it.

Some believe that President Bani-Sadr made two mistakes in his leadership on the details of the struggle with the IRP. The first was when he posed himself as a competitor with Imam Khomeini, something which the masses who follow their supreme Guide were repelled by, and something exploited by his competitors in power. As for the second error, it was his appeal to the masses to fight tyranny and reject dictatorship and autocracy. The clergy interpreted this appeal, which he announced officially, as being outside the Faith, and the Imam described it as a false appeal, or "heretical," for it was illegitimate [or: non-Shari'at], and included the dangerous charge that the clergy intended to rise up against the President and smash his government, even "eliminate him." In both cases, he lost the Imam's support—as he says—and then was removed from his position.

As for the other view, it holds that Bani-Sadr was right, but that the reports sent to the Imam were false and contrary to the truth. Bani-Sadr discovered that the Committee of Three which condemned him was completely stacked against him, for in March, his office had offered the Committee of Three over fifty instances of offences against him by the officials and the press, but most of them remained unanswered. He mentioned that the most telling of these offences was that the Supreme Court chief, Ayatollah Beheshti, was also the head of the IRP at the same time, and this was against the law, which stipulates that the post of Supreme Court chief must be held by a non-party man. Bani-Sadr noted, too, that the Committee of Three never objected to the offenses committed by the Prime Minister by his illegitimate appointment of the Deputy Foreign Minister. On the other hand, Bani-Sadr objected to his opponents having all the power which had been given to them outside the law and the cries for his overthrow and to beat his opponents, while the government kept these rights from him and his allies. These are some of the objections raised by Bani-Sadr. His opponents level other charges against him in response. There remains the issue which preoccupies the revolution's allies, at home and abroad, i.e., the defense of the revolution itself and its people , and the protection of its revolutionary foundations, and concern for democracy. The solution to the struggle ended up with a policy which was expected by neither side. And so, the masses once more ask themselves what position to take on the struggle. A sound solution to this ongoing strife without doing damage is to hold a referendum of the general masses for a new majority. The revolution is once more faced with danger, grave danger. It should choose—as it did in the past—to stand with the masses and enthuse them.

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